Where Are You Now?

When it comes to thinking about my mom, the things that make me cry are random and usually unexpected.

Tonight, it was the movie Brave.

I was watching it with my daughter when it got to the part where Merida has a flashback of her mother when Merida was little. There’s a thunderstorm, and Merida gets scared so she hurries to her mother. Her mother looks down at her lovingly and tells her: “I’m right here. I’ll always be right here”. The two snuggle and begin to sing softly together.

I was sitting on the couch, cuddling my own curly-headed lass during this scene and out of nowhere tears began streaming down my face and I had to choke back a sob. If you’ve lost your own mother, you may be nodding in agreement, perhaps with a lump of your own in your throat as you remember the countless times your mother comforted you.

My sadness doesn’t really come from a place of missing my mother. I think about my mom all the time and the feelings that come with it are almost never ones of longing for her. I don’t miss her. Were there times when she comforted me as a child? Times she took care of me, told me she loved me, and was a mother to me?

Yes. That’s the bitch of it. I had that once. She was that to me, once. And then the woman who gave birth to me, the woman who mended my scraped knees and calmed my fears was gone. She didn’t leave, she didn’t get in her car and drive away and never look back. But she was gone just the same. There, but forever changed. Her inner demons won the battle for her and she was no longer my mother.

I was about eleven when all of that happened and ever since, I’ve been a motherless child. I had her once upon a time; so long ago, in fact, that it feels like a dream. The memories of my childhood feel as if they happened to someone else. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted a mother’s guidance and advice but even before she died, she wasn’t available to me – not really.It wasn’t for lack of want on her part but by the time she had even remotely gotten her shit together, it was me who was no longer there.

I wonder where she is now. I am not a Christan and I do not believe in the concept of heaven and hell. I either believe in nothing, or in reincarnation… If that makes any sense at all. I don’t feel my mother – ever. I have no sense that she lingers here, that she watches over me and my family. I felt her at first. For about a month after she died, she was here, in my apartment.  I have no doubt. I’ve never really told anyone aside from my husband and best friend about this, but after mom died, I felt her here. I can’t explain how I knew she was here… She just was.   I was never comforted by the thought or the weight of her presence. I wasn’t threatened by it, exactly. It just made me feel sad and burdened.

In life, everyone  felt sad and burdened by her. It may sound harsh, but that was my mother. Anyone who knew her felt that way more often than not. I guess that’s why she didn’t hang around.
Her life was wrought with heartache and misery… I wouldn’t want to stick around a moment longer than I had to in a life like that. I still wonder where she is now. Is she whole? Did she get to leave the sick parts of her behind and begin a new life without all of that darkness on her soul?

For her sake, I hope so.

“Where are you now, where are you now? Do you ever think of me, in the quiet, in the crowd?
-Mumford & Sons