Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Memoir of my mother

I am teaching a class on writing, specifically on memoir writing, through community ed at Minneapolis Public Schools this summer and so this is something that I started writing in my head as I was thinking about the class. It doesn't have a title yet. I suck at titles. And who knows if I will go anywhere with it. But this is the beginning, a kind of tribute.

This is what I remember. My mother died 2 ½ years ago now, although embarrassingly, I can’t remember the exact date. It was somewhere between her birthday, October 16th, and Thanksgiving. I believe it was around the 13th. It was on a Sunday morning about 9:30 Central Standard Time. Despite my imprecision, I can say that for the first two years at least, time for me, stopped, which is probably why the date is so imprecise. My measurement of time stopped. I didn’t realize it, but the person against whom I measured my sense of time was now gone and so time literally stopped. For the next two years, I couldn’t remember what year it was and so consequently, how old I was. I was perpetually 45 years old, which was the age I was when she died. I even had a hard time remembering how old she was when she died.

She said to me once that she still didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life and that now it was nearly over. This was a few years before she died, before she even got sick.

In response to my requests “Mom, can we go to Disneyworld, New York, California, Fill in the Blank next summer? She would always reply “I don’t know, I could be dead by then.” And she was always around. So I didn’t really take those threats seriously.

I told her she should write her memoirs, her history, in the time she had left. But she said she probably wouldn’t.

This is what I remember of my mother, scattered: and collected from various memories that she told me about her childhood, mixed with memories of my own. Of course now that she’s gone, thankfully, I don’t remember any of the bad parts. Those are intellectual memories now, not emotional ones. I have forgiven her for all of the “bad” memories and they have no hold on me anymore. I have only funny memories, good memories of her now, as saccharine as that may sound. I don’t mean it to. It’s just the way it is.


Gailellen Daly said...

I am glad, Fluffy, you have positive memories of your mother.
Wish I could say the same about mine.And I don't recall the date she diues either.
By the way, they share the same birthday - Oct. 16.

Fluffy Singler said...

Thanks for your comment. I had made my peace with my mother long before she died. We had a very rocky relationship as I entered my teen years and almost into my thirties, but I know that a lot of that came from her relationship with her father and that she tried really hard not to repeat the same mistakes he made. I eventually decided that it was just too hard on both of us to stay mad at her. I hope you find some peace with your mother, even if posthumously.

Quite a synchronicty that our mothers had the same birthday.