I like to think that part of me remembers her, that somehow my one-year-old self-kept something in my subconscious and that at any given time I will remember. But I haven't remembered anything, and I don't think I will.
When people ask about my mom, I'm very open about the fact that she passed away when I was little. I get the typical response, "I'm so sorry for your loss" and my answer usually goes like, "It's OK, I don't really remember her" which is true, but I do wish I remembered. And that is the part that I keep to myself. I don't keep it to myself because it's a secret, but because I don't think you'd understand.
I see pictures and hear stories about her and for a moment I feel like I kind of know who she was. It makes me feel close to her. In a way, it makes me feel closer to myself. I don't know what it is about her, but I love her even though I don't know who she really was.
One of the worst feelings is to miss something when you don't know what you're missing. That is how I feel about losing my mom. I don't know what it could've been. I don't know if we would've gotten along well or fought all the time. Or if we would've been similar people or if we would've been completely different worlds. I don't even know where I would be if she was still alive. It's sort of like when a relationship ends too soon and you're left to wonder what it could've been. The only difference is that this relationship is one of the most important ones in a human's life.
Sometimes I wish I had dreams about her, but I don't and I don't recall ever having any. It makes me feel like her existence wasn't real. Kind of like she is a made up character in a movie, a movie that I don't recall. The thing is that I'm part of that movie and I don't even know most of my background story. I know I could ask more about her to my family, but it's not the same.
Instead, all I have is an agenda, pictures, stories and a couple of her necklaces --and that is not enough. It makes me wonder what it could've been but wasn't. It doesn't make me sad that she's not here, it makes me curious. It makes me wonder and want to know more about her. I think at times that maybe along the way I'll find a little of myself in her.
I also wonder how hard it must've been for my dad and how devastating it must've been for him to look me in the eye after she was gone. I look so much like her and I must've reminded him of my mom all the time. Maybe my dad sees a little of her in me, maybe it gives him comfort to know that she left something behind. But we don't talk about it. Things go unspoken as they have in the past.
The day she parted we all lost someone in my family: a sister, a daughter, a wife, a cousin, a friend. But I lost my mom and while I might tell you that it's no longer a big deal, it still is and it will always be. A part of where I come from is gone and while it does not make me sad, it's not as easy as I might say it is.
So yes, I'm sure my mother was beautiful, but I can only see that through pictures, because I don't remember.