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Thursday, August 12, 2010

At this stage of my life, I have only one link connecting me to my roots, and that is my mother. She is 84 years old. Mom appears to be in good health, and her mother died just shy of her 96th birthday, so I am counting on my mother living to at least that age. Of course, I also know that she may not.

I definitely feel on the periphery of being orphaned. (I cherish my two siblings, but they can reach no further into the past than I can; and did not give birth to me.) I know that "orphaned" is an odd word to use for someone who has past the half-century mark. Ordinarily, we only think of children as orphans. Still, I feel that the word applies to me, as well. To be an orphan is to wander alone in the world. Something irrecoverable will die when my mother does--my past, my roots. It is as it must be, but still the thought fills me with great sadness. Inasmuch as my mother and grandmother studiously avoided talking about our relatives who died in the Holocaust, I have little connection with my heritage, as it is. With my mother's death, it will be, as I have said, buried in the earth with her. That reality leaves me feeling orphaned and unmoored. But, so too, are clouds; maybe I should follow them, instead. They take no thought of the past or the morrow, and willingly disappear into the night air.

day of the dead
this strong urge to
call my mother

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