Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today is the anniversary of my mom's passing.
It was 15 years ago. She was 83.

I remember on the flight to Belgium that I looked at the stars
and suddenly thought that she would not see the next
daylight. That felt truly weird.

Since I saw her once or twice a year the shock did not
set in. That took some time.

15 years later I still talk to her.
Make no mistake this was not the best relationship.
My mom was strict. Rare were her compliments,
Her greenish eyes would turn grey when she was angry and
you knew there would be hell to pay.
She wanted perfection, she demanded perfection from herself too.
A task master with few friends at the end.
Her friends had left her one by one.
She had demanded too much from them.

She had a hard life in many ways.
Husband cheated on her and left her.
It was not being done in the early 1940's.
She had to start from scratch after a cruel war.
She worked her way up, went back to school to get a degree
as a CPA.
She held her job for decades while men around her were trying
to unseat her.
Her only child left for America.
Her alcoholic father became very poor when his second wife's relatives
put him outside the door after her death, so he moved in with her.
He was not easy, often he threatened her or her friends.
She had promised her mother that she would always look after him.
She always kept her promises. Always.
She did not know the meaning of unconditional love.
Not with me, not with others.
That was a hard nut to crack.

Still I miss her.
She could have let me go with my father and looked the other way.
She could have given up on me, instead she insisted that I become strong.
I am still under her spell.
I just want to please the world.
Confidence is a word that skipped my dictionary.
Hence my children too have lack of that, how could I teach them
what I did not have.
Every franc I inherited from her I had to turn around and around
and wonder if she would have approved on how I spent it.
I am sure she would not have.

She left us without pain.
She just said she did not feel well and she was gone.
4 hours before she had written me a letter.
The last line in the letter says :I love you, mom
That always touches me, I knew she loved me, she cared a lot for me,
she just was still so dissapointed in me.

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