Monday, June 17, 2013
I could not concentrate at work this afternoon. BF called to tell me a box had arrived. Puzzled. I have not ordered anything, did not expect anything. Then he read the name and return address.
My heart stopped and I almost reached for my nebulizer. My brain stopped thinking and it was as if all of my thoughts were in a mental windstorm, blown about and impossible to connect.
The box is from Mother. She sent me to live with my dad at the end of 7th grade and, other than a wonderful surprise of seeing her at my high school graduation, we've had no contact in about 40 years.
Despite the canyon she put between I us, I have always yearned for things to be different. The broken relationship, the cycle of abuse and neglect have never changed that.
Is there a note? What could it be?
I have not looked through all of the contents, so there could be a note, but it does not appear likely. The box is stuffed with hundreds of postcards. Last fall, my eldest younger sister contacted me through FB, said Mother asked if I still collected postcards and wanted my address. I answered affirmatively though I did not expect anything to come of it.
I am amazed that she remembered I collected postcards in grade school and am floored to receive this treasure. The postcards belonged to gramma (yes, that's how she wrote it). Some were her dad's. Now I know what my grandfather's handwriting looks like as well as my great grandfather's. The cards are from exciting familiar and unfamiliar places. Some have writing I can read, some are blank and some are faded beyond legibility. I've found two relatives I never knew existed!
I will send a card, but only after I compose, discard and recompose until I achieve just the right words and tone. Is this the last time I get to send her a card that she might actually read? Is it a door ajar for a bittersweet final attempt at healing our long-severed relationship? As near as I can guess, she is in her late 70s and, before my aunt died, she said Mother was in failing health. I have to assume it's the smoking because she smoked even before I was born and, to my knowledge, never quit.
Even if all I have is this tangible legacy handed down through generations, I am humbly grateful.