You know that feeling you have when there is someone who is an old friend and you haven’t spoken to them in a while and you feel like you should give them a call, you want to give them a call, you like them, but for some reason you don’t call and then you start to feel funny about calling because it has been so long.
Well that’s how I am feeling about the blog. Unsigned Masterpiece has been quiet for a while. There is a reason. Over the last few months, in fact over the last nine or ten months, my mother experienced an on-going series of health crises. She would be on the brink and then she would rally, quite spectacularly, and then we would go through the cycle again. She lives in another city so there was a lot of driving and long distance phone calls with doctors and my sister. A lot of worrying about what to do.
My mother died, somewhat unexpectedly despite her health issues, on February 20th. She was 91. Although it took us by surprise, I think she may have known because about eight days before she died she asked to have lunch with my sister and I. We brought in food and dishes to the hospital and had a nice time. I came back two days later on Valentine’s Day and surprised her. I brought headphones and the soundtrack to Midnight in Paris and she listened and danced with her feet in her chair. Midnight in Paris seems destined to be of significance in my life.
During all this, I didn’t feel like writing on my blog. There also seemed to be a lot of anger floating around in the adoptoland blogoshere and I had enough going on. I found all the anger and name-calling very sad. Whether it’s Rush Limbaugh or somebody else. Certain four letter words applied to women are sexist.
So I just decided to take a break from it all.
The outpouring of affection after my mother died was quite heart-warming. Many people expressed their condolences, saying that they felt great sympathy for me and my sister and what we are going through.
I nodded and accepted their kind words but I thought frequently as they were talking to me that there is only one population that understands the complicated relationships that exist between we mothers of the adopted and our own mothers. They were, more often than not, the driving force behind the adoption “plan” that changed our lives and the lives of our children forever.
That is a big topic and one that I am not going to tackle on my first day back after such a lengthy absence. May be in a week or two. Today it will be a kind of connect the dots post because that is how it feels to me. A number of things came together.
After my mother died, my sister and I were going through old photographs to find pictures for a presentation at the funeral home. It was kind of a nice exercise doing this with my sister. Lots of memories. And of course there were many pictures where I knew I was pregnant at the time the photograph was taken. I was becoming reacquainted with these old photographs right around the same time Mr. Limbaugh was showing us who he really was by calling all women who wanted to use birth control sluts. (Proving it’s not about birth control or abortion it’s about women’s sexuality. Trust me.) So this is me at the time I could have used some birth control. Not looking particularly slutty. In fact, not looking slutty at all. Looking like the innocent young girl that I was.
You will see in the picture to the right that it is a graduation picture. I was very close to graduating when I had my son, yet they convinced me that I had nothing to offer him. This brings me to another thing that happened recently. Another dot to connect up.
Canadian mothers are now pursuing the same apology for dubious adoption practices given to their sisters in Australia. Here is the link to the story in the Canadian newspapers.
One other random dot-connecting event. I was watching a documentary about Phil Ochs the other night. The film started with this quote from JFK.
The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often […] we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
President John F. Kennedy – Commencement Address at Yale University, Old Campus, New Haven, Connecticut, June 11, 1962
That, if you ask me, is the trouble with adoption. The myths die hard. It’s uncomfortable for people to think.
And speaking of avoiding the discomfort of thought.
People asked me if I told my son about his grandmother’s death. I didn’t because when I told him about my father’s, his grandfather’s, death, I heard nothing from him. I knew then just what a cold heart I was dealing with. I did hear from his father however, that was nice.
So I guess, dear readers, you have to do a little work and put all this together into a coherent whole. My mother’s death, the photograph, Rush Limbaugh, the quest for an apology and the JFK quote, my son’s cold heart. If you figure it all out. Let me know. I’ll be here waiting.