Jeff, my new Gamestop manager, and I were talking about the loved one’s we’ve lost today and also how old we were and how old we wanted to be when we died. These two thoughts converged in my head, our loved dead and our ages, and ended at this doozy of a thought: I will soon be older than my mother ever was. How’s that for a fun thought?
Those who know me well know that I don’t, and haven’t, spent much time pondering the absence of my biological mother in my life. Not because it isn’t an interesting thought experiment, it certainly is, but because it’s so very futile. But this thought, this thought really gives me pause. Here I am, twenty-five years old, and I have traveled to many parts of the world, lived, loved, wined, dined, fucked, and been fucked-over, and I think I’m doing well with my life. Then I stop and think about all I know of my mother (and father) in this point in their lives: they were living in Saudi Arabia, and soon would have children on the way. They were financially independent, more or less, with myriad friends and connections from all parts of the world. They had problems, of course, and issues that I may have very well crumbled under. But their lives were huge and robust, at least to my eyes.
And soon, I’ll have outlived the robustness of my mother’s life.
I think this is the first time I’ve felt so deeply about my mother, that I’ve really been faced with the reality of who and what my mother was. And why her death was so horribly tragic, and how it has tainted and changed my family ever since. As a youth my mother’s age, much less my dad’s, seemed like this mythical and far off place, that would welcome me into its ranks after I had suffered for aeons. And here I am. Realizing that if I *were* to keel over tomorrow, my family would be beyond crushed. I’m in the peak of my life, with so much more to go, to do, to love and hate, and losing it now would be so horribly sad.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t thought of my mother before, but it’s been hard to make anything real of her. My entire life I’ve gained most of what I know about my mother from my dad and brother, with my grandmother filling in details here and there. I’m still not convinced that my memories of her aren’t my brain taking pictures I’ve seen and filling in details as appropriate. For fuck’s sake, I remember seeing a cloud in Mario more accurately than I do my mother. Maybe my youth addled brain was just taking her for granted, maybe not, but it is hard to ponder on what you’ve never had, what makes no sense to you.
But the sheer human loss… that I understand. I can relate to just how god awful it would be for someone so young, so vital, so integral to so many lives to suddenly disappear. I think about losing my dad, who has had a good life but is till far too young to go, and I think of my step-mom dying and it makes me a little shuddery inside, she’s too young too. Then I think about my brother dying and my heart nearly stops. My brain refuses to even consider something so horribly *unfair* as my brother drying at 26. No. How the hell did you people deal with my mom’s death? In some ways I’m glad it happened when I was so young. If it had happened now…