I found out I was adopted when I was about 12, and boy was I confused. My mother, seen here holding me at my grandmother’s house in Massachusetts (I was so tuned out, and I didn’t even like ‘camera eye contact’ -still don’t) was a loving, caring, doting, involved parent.
So, my young mind could not sort how anyone could possibly ‘give away’ a child. Of course over time, one realizes I would not have had the mother I had, were it not for the selflessness of giving the gift of life to a couple who could not have children. And I’m proud of her – my birth mother- for her bravery and thankful she gave me, her 7th child, to a loving home.
My father may have been sterile do to contracting malaria in the Korean war. He was flown out of the jungle in a helicopter; to a hospital where he was in a coma and nearly died from complications.
My mother had two of every reproductive organ, and when one uterus wasn’t in menses, it seemed the other one was. I have heard of women conceiving and carrying babies to term; with two uteruses (four ovaries, etc.) but that was not to be the case for her. I was told that when I was placed in her arms at the age of 5 days, (after having weathered a burst ear drum and 104 temperature) she held me tight and said, “She’s mine! She’s mine!” My aunt laughingly told her she was going to squeeze the life out of me.
Here is the birth mother, pictured on the left-I am on the right. She, like my mother Carol, are both passed away. I never really knew my birth mother (I met her a few times) but here is what I do know.
She managed to give me a poodle, under the guise, as my parents would tell me, that the dog was a gift from ‘an aunt.’ I said excitedly- “If it’s a boy, it’s name will be Pierre-and if it’s a girl, she will be Suzette!” I learned when I was 12, that it was my biological mother that had given me the poodle and strangely enough, she bred the parents of my gifted dog-those dogs she had named Pierre and Suzette. I had no way of knowing that when I was a little kid. She also gave me a porcelain doll when I was in my 20s which of course I still have although the head was broken during a move. She named me Alicia at birth, but my parents changed me into Kimberly when I was 5 and needed to show a birth certificate for Kindergarten. I remember the trip to the lawyer to do this; but not understanding what all the hubbub was. (They had called me Kim from birth even though my certificate legally said otherwise.)
I was thrilled to discover, years after my birth mother’s passing, that she liked telling faery stories to the grandchildren she cherished. Her mother was an artist. She liked raising rose bushes.
I often think I should like to get one of those DNA tests. I don’t why, because I am more concerned with my spiritual self, than I am of the carbon vessel carrying me around. But with such curly hair, I always wonder what nationality it comes from, my children don’t have it. I have heard Jewish people describe having hair like mine, so perhaps something in my biological father’s line? Eh, what is biological stuff anyway, ancestors, because in the last life I had and in those before that one, (my soul, my self) I would’ve had a different biological line anyway, but still for this life’s sake, the hair has me baffled. And curious.
I have been a blessed mother, a blessed person overall. It’s cliche but one always thinks there’s time….
There are many things in the course of a life, that one does over time, that while doing it, one doesn’t realize it is the LAST time one will do this! Like riding this horse on the right. Like riding a bicycle, or speaking ‘last words’ to a loved one. Some mothers don’t know how to be one. Some mothers conjure horrible nostalgia in the minds of too many.
On the other hand, Some mothers, like Donna (Polly) Williams-Samuel, (yes I know she never had children of her own) are what I call ‘mother energies.’ Keri Bowers is another person (she has two sons) who is a natural mother energy. These types of persons have an aura of mother-love, a teaching, devoted, selfless, energy that is what being a mother encompasses and they resonate their energy to so many- young and old. I believe Mother Energies are old souls.
Now to shift gears- I have often wondered why so many people refuse to acknowledge that so many tragedies have occurred, and that every terrible thing (9-11, Boston marathon bombing, Holocaust, etc. etc.) is a conspiracy. And then I came across this bit of wisdom from Joseph Brodsky, who had opinions about conspiracy theorists:
He opined that people often put up ‘mental fences’ as protection against the brutalities of the world, that they need these mental fences because these folks cannot begin to accept that such horrific acts of violence could be truth.
I am no conspiracy theorist, but I have mental fences too, (i.e. #MeToo) but thankfully I don’t have to self-protect from memories of terrible parents, because they did the best they could and that was more than enough. My father continues to call me daily. My heart is outreached to those who cannot honor mothers they never respected…
That having been said, about the DNA thing, my mother got far more serotonin in her genes than me! She was always smiling. As a matter of fact, so did my father and childhood friend Starr.
I miss her good cheer perhaps the most. Also, I miss that she did not get to see her grandchildren grow and have children. She held me grandson when he was a baby, but she died when he was 9 mths. old. No matter, I know she watches over us all.
My children and their children, the people that mean the most to me in the world (Al of course is on this list too):
Boston, several pounds ago, 2014, Al and I
SILAS-formerly Kerry Annie
So I leave you with the sentiment that even if you cannot honor your mother, look around for a mother energy and say thank you. Or just appreciate.
Mother’s Day is probably a good idea in theory, but it’s EVERY day I am thankful for the Mother Energies in my own life. Once upon a time one of my children strayed away and for years we were estranged. I’m glad we are not anymore. I believe that my mother spirits are beside me guiding me and although my mother never read my book or saw my art in a gallery, she knows. I talk to her every day. Not just on designated days-like we did in life. Not quite the same though.
Here is my latest collage, “Anatomy of Strife.”
Please ask permission to share as all my art has copyright. Always I pour my self into creating stuff, this one came from start to finish in about 7 hrs. They don’t always come like this.
A bird seen on my walk; which let me get quite close. Also seen farther along under the overpass near the train tracks: one blue latex glove, a filthy hand towel, and a bucket (did not look inside) No pictures of glove, towel or bucket🙀👀⁉️