When my mother died on December 19 of last year (2012) I had very little to say about her. I wrote a post right after her death but it was more about me and my relationship with her. I was exhausted from her illness and the challenges that surrounded it, and could find very little that was positive to say.
When we started cleaning out her house I found boxes of old photographs and started to piece together a picture of my mother that changed the way I felt about her. She was an extremely complex individual and difficult to get along with, with a lifetime of depression. But she was also funny and charming and her life could have turned out very differently if she had made different choices. Over the past year I’ve had two dreams in which I saw her without the burdens of her depression and anger and despair: as a childlike and innocent soul who is hopeful and pleased by the smallest of things. My own rage at her dysfunction has fallen away and I can now write a proper euology.
My mother was born Rosalie Bernstein on June 25, 1927 (for you astrologers, I rectified her birth time to 1 am, Bronx NY). Her parents had come from Europe to escape persecution: her mother from Poland and her father from Russia. The legend was that they met on the boat, but I don’t know if that was really true. In any case, within a few years they had moved to Pennsylvania where they settled in Altoona.
My mom on […]