Oh, Mother.

3505343060_63930ffc44

Sometimes, I wonder what my mother would have been like if she had stayed happy.

If nothing happened on the eve of her 14th birthday.

Would she be more loving? Would she read me bedtime stories and write me loving notes in my lunch box? Would I hear her laugh at my father’s jokes? Would she smile?

Sometimes, while I lay in my bed at night and stare at the space shuttles on the wallpaper of my room, I wish I had a new mother; the same type of mother the other kids have.

I wish her eyes weren’t so gray and cold. I wish her wrinkles didn’t betray her eternal sadness. I wish my mother was not a victim.

I often look at the faded picture of her smile before “it” happened.

My dad gave that picture to me.

It was a sunny afternoon of July, but I was stuck inside, helping him clean the attic.

I started looking through an old album of my parents’ wedding pictures when it fell down: the image that would plague my nights with endless wondering.

–         Who is that? I asked.

–         That’s your mother, my dad answered.

He had said it with a sort of nonchalance, as if it was of no importance. As if the memory of the woman he had married 17 years ago did not hurt him. As if he wasn’t growing balder every day because of his unhappy marriage and pointless, pathetic existence.

–         You can keep it if you want, he added.

So it was true, then. My mother had once been happy, a while ago, before her stepfather had hurt her. Before she changed her name to Julie.

I wish I knew the girl in the picture, yet it makes me feel selfish. I feel like I should be ashamed of not being satisfied with the woman who gave me my life.

URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zgodzinski/3505343060/

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~ by seaofcurls on May 12, 2009.

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