It was when I started reading celebrity biographies that it occurred to me that I just might have…finally… become my mother. She loved those biographies. I had never been a fan of them myself. But, here I was, sitting on my bed, staring at a stack of biographies on the nightstand in front of me. I remember many times when my mother had in front of her, a similar stack, and would try to decide which biography to read first from the many she had picked out at the library. And here I was, so many years later, doing the very same thing.
I was aware that my transition to becoming my mother had started awhile ago. I had, for some time, been warning my family to throw out raw meat that had turned brown in the package. I cautioned them to watch out for falling pallets in warehouse stores. I had started carrying a Kleenex in my pocket and placing the children in front of me in family photos. I found myself becoming irrationally overprotective of my father and brothers. And, without thinking, I began to put extra mayonnaise on my family’s sandwiches.
Increasingly, the signs of my transition had become somewhat undeniable.
Like any independent young woman, I was convinced early on, that my life’s journey would be very different than the one my mother had taken. And for some time, it was. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found my life’s journey coming full circle to a place that would have been very familiar to my mother. Certain personality traits and interests and values that were so uniquely hers, I am now finding myself wholeheartedly embracing as my own. It would have been such a joy to share with her these new things we would have had in common.
But I can’t.
Because on this day, two years ago, my mother died.
I would have dearly loved to have had more time with her. However, at the time she died, I was thankful for and content with the 38 years that we did have together.
But, now that I’ve become my mother, it is quite apparent that 38 years together wasn’t nearly enough time at all. Now that I like celebrity biographies, just like she did, I’m not so content anymore. I want her to recommend some biographies for me. I want to talk to her about the Dean Martin biography I just read. Now that I’ve become my mother, the last 2 years suddenly seems like such a very, very, long time for her to be gone. 2 years seems like a long time not to talk to your mother.
It’s too bad that it took me 40 years to become my mother. It’s too bad she’s no longer here to enjoy our new found similarities. It’s too bad, because I have a feeling she would have liked me a lot.
In Loving Memory of MAMA.
One of the few times she didn't get away with standing behind me in a picture. Taken, my senior year in high school, May 1987, at the Mother's Tea.