I am older than my mother ever got to be.
Since she’s died at the age of 39, or, perhaps, precisely because she has died, I have gained a greater sense of self and became more of the person I always wanted to be but was too scared to try. And as I move further away from that uncertain sixteen-year-old who stoicly buried his mother, I can’t help but feel that I am losing her all over again.
Searching for her face and loooking back to the days of my conception around these days of august 1970, I have found this old 8mm movie taken by my father at the time when my mom was pregnant with me. Only four sharp frames remained. She saw something in the distance, stood quietly and thoughtfully for a moment and then suddenly she frowned and turned her head with eyes closed. Going back to the house she fell down the stairs and cut her knee. That memory remained as a birth scar exactly 8mm long on my own right knee and as a habit of scratching it when I am nervous. But the memory of what we saw is lost forever.
The desire to get to know my mother’s face again may spring from a realization of how much I am like her. How often do I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in the mirror, surprised to discover my mother’s expressions in my own?
And what could my mother say to me now, to this person she never met?