So after posting about warm woolen blankets in February, I received a few calls from loved ones and have been thinking about my mother a lot. I always get a jolt when I come in contact with someone who knew her. I soak in every word. Every last one. My life has had so many stages, so many directions it seems. I tend to categorize things in my mind...when my parents were together, when I lived with Mom and her boyfriend, when mom died, living with a new family, and so on into adult life.
She made quite an impression on me. In my adult mind I can recall things from childhood, times with her, specifically conversations we had that I understand so clearly now. She loved to write letters. She always had pretty writing paper. I used to love watching her write at the kitchen table and she had this paper with butterflies on the top left and bottom right of each page. I know because I have some of them right here by my computer. Actually, I am going to get a tattoo of one of the butterflies on the writing paper. Mom loved butterflies. God, she loved them! We bought her a serving tray set with 8 coasters that have actual butterfly wings behind the glass. A little morbid I suppose, but she also had a couple preserved ones in these fancy metal containers. She would show them to me sometimes. They looked so alive. I remember trying to catch butterflies between my fingertips in our yard as a very young child so that I could bring them into the basement and let them fly a little. I always let them go though.
You know what? I found (this is gonna sound backwoods but...) my mom's boyfriend's daughter on the facebook. We haven't seen one another since very early in 1985. We talked a little once I added her to my friends list, but just lately she sent me a link. She makes beaded jewelery and while looking at it, I found something cute and sent an e-mail to ask if she could make one with butterflies instead of flowers. The e-mail she sent me back was so beautiful I really want to share it with you.
I haven't really seen any butterflies, but I haven't really looked. Next time I go bead shopping I will look for butterflies. I remember how much your mom used to love butterflies. There used to be a field next to the Mall (condos there now) that had milkweed, and in the summer one day, dad, your mom and I walked through and their was a ton of monarch butterflies - so beautiful; one of my fond memories.
I sat there staring at the screen for a few moments, then wrote back...
Thank you for sharing that with me. That's a lovely memory. Did you like my mother? Was she kind, or were you rather indifferent regardless? I had many mixed feelings for my father's wife, although she was always kind to me and I grew to love her very much. I was really just curious. There's not many people that I talk to about her that knew her. Thank you. If you find some butterflies i would love a bracelet with some on it.
She sent me back an e-mail that just made me well up. It's ok, really. It sort of feels good but also makes me think of sad times. This girl used to come and stay with us on weekends quite regularly. The way that Ty does here with us, you know? It sort of mattered to me at that moment how she felt being the one walking into our home. This is a woman who has had a rough road. A horribly abusive pig of a stepfather. She was eventually taken from her home and put into foster care. I thought about that after reading the mail...neither of us had knights for dads (you know, to rescue us from circumstance)...life goes on.
I thought she was awesome! She was an incredible woman. She was very kind to me, and she loved you and Rodney very much. I have some good memories of her and some very sad memories. I remember her loving the beach and the sun, and that I was really relaxed around her, especially with everything going on with me and the abuse I was suffering at home. I remember her speaking very fast French when she was talking to her Mom and Dad. She was a happy person, a good person, a very special person. She was a quiet, private person, but good with people. She had a wonderful laugh. After she passed, I know Dad was never the same again, and fell into such a dark depression. He loved her so much, and was so heartbroken. She was the love of his life. I only talk to Dad once in a while, we haven't really been close, but he is my Dad, and I love him.Anyway, I will look for some butterflies - I will think of Audrey when I do.Keep in touch.
Incidentally, I haven't seen her father since Mom's funeral. See? Welling up again just reading it there. I realize this doesn't mean as much to all of you as it does to me, but it made me feel really good to add it here. Another little e-mail I received said this:
People often have nice things to say about another person once they pass away..But in the case of your mother it's all true..She really was a sweet lady.
I feel good about that.