Total Pageviews

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Loss of my Mother

I suppose everyone who loses a parent feels the same sorrow in its own varied strain. I'm not entirely certain if adoptive children experience the same sorrow. Is it a more profound sorrow? Is it a disconnecting sorrow? Over the last couple of weeks, the answer has been formulating in my brain and this is what I have concluded.

My adoptive mother passed away suddenly on June 22, 2013. She was the only mother I ever knew as I was a mere six weeks old when I was adopted. She nurtured me, she scolded me more often than not. She was there for the trials for the tribulations and for the triumphs in my life and in that of my adoptive brother's life as well. As most teenagers do, I was the rebellious brat that felt my mother knew nothing, wasn't 'with the times' and didn't understand me whatsoever. What she also wasn't aware of, was how much I loathed being adopted. I felt a total disconnect to my mother and brother my entire life. They were the perfect 'Aryan', blond hair - blue eyes and then there was me. The native Canadian with the pitch black eyes and matching hair. (although now it is so L'Oreal enhanced, I have no clue what colour it is anymore). My skin colour was always darker. I went extremely dark while they burned in the summer. I stood out and I knew it.
Sherry, Mom, Dale at her favourite place ''The Mandarin"

I hated everything about being me. I was so different and so angry that my rebellion went to epic proportions which resulted in me finding solace in the bottom of a vodka bottle.

As you have likely noticed, I've yet to have mentioned my father. That would be due to the fact that he is a mere name on a piece of paper and nothing more. While married to my mother, I was too young to have any memories of what he was like as a dad. He split when I went into the third grade. After that, it was years of broken promises, limited visits and a growing disdain for him.

Then my mother met my dad. While step-father is the official title if you want to get technical. My step-father has been more of a dad to me than my father ever was or could be. He came complete with a step-brother and step-sister. All of a sudden I went from being the baby of the family to the middle child. Once again, I was the stand out. My new family members were also extremely 'Aryan' in colouring, leaving me the black sheep title.

When my daughter was born, I suddenly felt connected. She is a perfect clone of me. Sure she resembles her father as well, but she is me. Which for me suddenly gave me a glimmer of what my birth mother may look like. My logic, if my daughter looks so much like me, I have to look that much like my mother. Sounds reasonable doesn't it?

This small piece of information gave me hope and purpose. It also spurred on my desire to find out more about who I am and where I come from. 

My mother was more than just a grandmother to my daughter. She was part of a security net and a large part of her universe. The loss to my daughter, I think is far greater than anything I feel.

So that leads me to right now. The devastation I feel over the loss of my mother is overwhelming. Not only because she was the only mother I've ever known, but she was also my link to my past. My childhood memories are so limited that I relied on my mother for a great deal of my history. Now that is gone. Sure my brother will still have his memories but we are both aging too and I'm certain some things are gone from his memory as well.

Where does this leave me now? I'm a motherless child. Yet I feel like an orphan. I've always had abandonment issues and this is probably the worst possible scenario to endure.

While I'm glad that I came home two weeks prior to her death to celebrate my parents 25th Wedding Anniversary (actual anniversary would've been July 2nd). I'm also thrilled that we as a family - a wonderfully blended family got together and did a family portrait. The first our family has ever done and as it turned out the most important. 

Since my mother's funeral last Friday, I have been staring a great deal at the family portrait. It became apparent to me that I didn't really stand out anymore. I took notice of all the dark hair. It was a revelation that was likely way overdue. We had always been a family, I just didn't see it.

To answer my question, my sorrow is profound, disconnected and immense. No one will ever replace my mother. Even if I was to locate my birth mother. She would never have the memories that my mother had. Some questions will never truly be answered but for now, the answer I have to give is simply this:  I miss my mom today, tomorrow, forever.