When I was thirteen years old, my mother kicked me out of the house. My grandmother graciously took me in, since my father had no means of caring for me. Three years later, my mother left. There has probably never been a more devastating event in my life. I may have only seen her occasionally, but “never” was a whole new idea. It was always upsetting to never see her at my plays or concerts, but it was completely different to contemplate that on graduation night, I would have the same problem. That at my wedding, there would be no mother of the bride. That when I had a child, there would be no one there to teach me how to care for a human being. That one day I would receive a phone call announcing her death, and when I went to look inside the casket, I wouldn’t even recognize the woman inside.
I wrote two things about my mother that sum us up pretty well. One was called, You’re Perfect... And I Love You. It was a short story about myself struggling with the idea that if I could be the best, my mother would still love me. It won first prize in a writing contest, and I couldn’t hold my tears back as I read the three pages of my life to a room of people I didn’t know. Somewhere in that story are lines expressing the pain of my mother’s absence at every school function, and somewhere in that moment is irony that she wasn’t in that audience either.
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...ee it. At seventy-three years old, she has just learned to deal with her emotions entangled in these issues, and when she looks at me, she is able to recognize where I am at, and understands. There is nothing more important in the world than to have someone who understands.
The things she has done for me have changed my life forever, even if I am just starting to comprehend them today. She kept me from opening the kitchen cabinets to empty shelves, and enabled me to buy new school supplies each year. She gave me a chance to become less angry, and stood by me as I grew to understand myself. She was at every single theatre performance, band concert, and cheered in the stands when my name was announced at graduation. She has become so much more to me than a grandmother; she has truly morphed into all that I ever really needed - an advocate, a guardian angel, a mother.
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