From Little Girl…to Wife…to Divorced Single Mom

Posted by Delaine - January 5, 2009 - Grief/ Anger, Phases/ Stages, Surviving - 1 Comment

dee-and-cyndy-cropped-3-fo Out of the blue, my aunt emailed me this photo tonight.  I’m not posting it because I want you say I look cute.  I’m showing it because it made me burst out crying.    

Look at how innocent I was.  My God, the face of an angel with hair so white.  I keep wondering what I was like back then…but I don’t remember.  I think I’m about four.  I think I was a good kid, always easy to get along with, always wanting to please everyone.  Yeah, mom always said I was a really good, easy child.  

Look at my dress.  I don’t remember it either.  My mom used to make a lot of my clothes back then.  In that era there was a lot of wacky, tacky prints and frills.  But my mom dressed with me love and in my heart I knew I had a loving family, a safe unbroken home; that I was wanted and protected and taken care of.  Through the window in the background I think I see my mom, her younger self.  God, she must be younger than I am now.  What was she busy doing?  What never-ending line-up of motherly chores was she tending to?  She had a family of four kids.  

In my mind’s eye, I age me and I see me at 8, 10, doing cartwheels around this 4-year-old me, so happy, so playful, so free to live each day unencumbered.  But I bring myself back to this 4-year-old me and ask myself again, “What were you like?  You were newly here from the Other Side, a soul of pure light, your conscious mind untainted yet by life.  What was your soul like?”  

Still, I don’t remember.  I sit and I wait for the feeling of her in my skin.  And I can’t feel her.  All I feel is a pain in my chest and tears in my eyes.  How did I go from there…. her……to here?  

My daughter is now four.  And I’m going to show her this photo.  She sometimes asks me if I was ever a baby or a little girl.  She comments on the lines on my face and asks me why they’re there.  “Because I’ve been here 38 years,”  I tell her.  “Everyone gets older.”  I know she doesn’t understand time and how much living was required for me to get here.  A part of me doesn’t want her to know, I want her to savor her ‘in-the-moment’ carefree happiness.  And yet another part of me wants to tell her about this earth school of hard-knocks, to prepare her for this journey of tough self-love.  

So I’ve stared and wept at this photo for awhile tonight.  I feel the cargo I’ve added to my back over my lifetime, the heaviness that I am yet to amputate.  Yet this photo brings me pause.  It brings me back to the beginning, to my essence.  It takes my breath away.  And it makes me cry.  Cause I don’t remember.