What am I so afraid to write about her? I hold every truth I made into milky white and charcoal black pearls for the wooden chest where I kept my understandings of her. She was my mother. She is. Mine. But I do not possess her. Not in the way a daughter wishes to hold her mother in her heart, in the air she breathes, in the footsteps she takes towards a distant and unknown future. She will never be mine like that. She made sure of it.
Everything I hold of her is past tense. It is piled up like salt rock that will wear away, bit by bit, with every gust of wind, with every drop of acid rain. Until there is nothing left but ghosts. I need her. I need her today and always. Just as strongly as I needed her when she was still my mom. Before she became Ma. I need her. But what for?
Everything I built around me was more despite her than it was because of her. she deserves credit, yes. But I cannot honestly and truthfully give her much. I was a child chagrined who became a young girl unseen who grew into a woman alone. Needing a mother but never fully getting one.
I know she had so little to give. I know she was given even less than me. How could she have been the monolith I needed her to be? How could she have been a haven? She didn’t know what those things looked like; she never felt them painting warmth over her fragile skin. So how could she build it for another when none were made for her?
I meet her now on grassy hills with the salt wind whipping around us from the grey-green ocean below. I tell her I forgive her, so I can try to believe it, so I can finally forgive myself. And she stands there before me, as I lay my sorrows at her shimmery-shadowy feet; silent and unreadable while she listens to my pleas, as she watches them float away into the open sky on the curves of the wind. She still has nothing to say. At least this time she listens.