The Bracelet

Is it coincidence,
or irony,
that during a time when I am intimately working on
coming to terms with the fact that I have been a motherless daughter my whole life,
my own child decided to stop talking to me? 

How to put into words what it feels like carrying the grief that I do,
of my own losses, disappointments, and betrayals,
as my child screams at me about my lack of understanding to his plight.

If only he knew how bad I wish I had a mom to yell all of my anger and hurt at.

It’s not that I am trying to compare us,
I am simply pointing out the parallels.
I am just trying to make sense of his anger towards me.
That is likely my first error …

All of this has been brewing under the surface for some time,
coming to a climax last week.
And now as I move into a new chapter of unknown
I feel quite powerless to adjust the things
making me most uncomfortable.

It was the gift I received last night
that woke me so early and
has my thoughts
running like a movie reel
through my mind.

My process. 

I knew the package was coming,
I was unaware of the treasure that was included.
My aunt on my mom’s side has been cleaning out the garage
(like most of us while self isolating during this pandemic)
and she came across a bunch of old photos.

I was excited to receive the photos and they didn’t disappoint.
How unfamiliar this new life feels,
connected to family after decades of believing I am alone.
Collecting memories from my childhood;
things that have always existed as a testament to the life I once lived.
A life I have very little memory of.

I barely recognize myself in the images,
such a happy little girl,
still untouched by the horrors destined to befall her.

Also in the package of photos was a bracelet.
The note explained it was a charm bracelet of my Grandma Evelyn’s,
she was my mom’s mom,
who died five years after my mom.
I wish I remembered her.

The bracelet at one time held three charms, for her three children.
Of course my uncle has kept his charm for himself and his own children,
and I imagine the charm for my mom’s sister will eventually make it to her kids as well.

But the bracelet itself, and the charm that represented my mom,
arrived in my mailbox last night.
It was so stereotypical –
I read the note and realized what was in the wrapped package
and I tore into the wrapping
like a kid on christmas morning,
I couldn’t open it fast enough.

And now, here I am.
A new day dawns,
and I find myself with new pieces of my history
filling in the blank spots.

Which is why I grieve so hard over the struggles with my own child.
I know as deep as my soul runs through my body
how important family can be,
and what life feels like alone.

The understanding I can offer my own child through his pain,
is as real as the life I live each day.
I hope one day he understands.


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