THE MEMORY OF MY MOTHER
Remembering My Mother.....
Well, it finally happened. I decided to write about my mother who died when I was eight years old. I actually wrote a screenplay about my life story many years ago and it was so painful when it came to writing about my mother that I put it away. When I wrote the first draft, it came out like a waterfall and I finished 100 pages in 2 days. But when I went to read it again and tried to rewrite it, it started to feel too complicated. One day I just stopped.
The main problem I had with it was since I was so young when she died it was too hard to remember everything. So then I tried to make it sort of a true story with a "fantasy" twist. It worked for a while, but then I could not seem to find the “theme” in the story. I wrote about painful experiences that I remembered and some of the details seemed interesting, but the rest of it had to be made up. In the end I came out with something similar to the movie “The Butterfly Effect” (with Ashton Kutcher). A bit bizarre.
My mother died a tragic death at the young age of 32 and without going into details about something so extremely personal and painful, I just wanted to put down on paper my thoughts about her. She always seems to come to me in small “snippets,” like small slideshows when you see a face that looks familiar. I tried to remember some of the things about her today and I thought of “singing” and “yoga.” She used to put on her black leotard and do exercises in front of the den mirror. I used to try and join her in her poses and I remember enjoying this and laughing a lot. I also remember her singing “Goodnight Sweetheart” to me and she would stand at the door and wiggle her hips every night while she sang. She did have a great sense of humor and she often sang opera when she ran out of the shower. She was once a model and a showgirl.
Every night she would sing…..
“Goodnight Sweetheart, well its time to go…….
Goodnight Sweetheart, well its time to go....I hate to leave you but I really must say, Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight.”
Then she was gone and I had a hard time getting to sleep. She had been acting strange for quite a while and it made me worry a lot. When things got progressively worse she would start breaking down in public and cry out of nowhere. The hardest part for me was trying to get her home before things got any worse and this forced me to grow up really quickly.
She started to not trust anyone and her friends became her enemies overnight. I once witnessed her smiling and hanging out with a neighbor and close friend of hers while we went to the store to get her cigarettes and then all of a sudden she "went off" out of nowhere. “You don’t really like me!!!” she would say as her friend looked on in shock. I stood there and watched my mother turn into someone else and when she dragged me off I looked back at the strange expression on the ladies face. I never forgot that expression of pure confusion and pity.
The day she left me for good I was going to camp and she walked me to the school bus. The light was behind her head like a halo and her eyes looked empty and all I could think of was the fact that she was never coming back. I just knew. She was beautiful, but she was broken and the life in her eyes had disappeared. The light in the beautiful vessel had gone somewhere else.
I often think of the time that she tried to destroy her artwork and her paintings because she said it was never good enough. I also think of all of the negative comments that she made about her beauty for years. She was never “skinny enough” or “pretty enough.” I went with her to many different places of worship while she was searching for her "inner peace" that she never found. I saw a Buddha taller then the chapel and we had meals at the Hare Krishnas Camp in Los Angeles on a few occasions. There were also the times at church and at group therapy where I hung desperately to her leg as she cried about her life and disappointments.
The time I remember most was when she used to walk my younger sister and I to the market on the corner in Hollywood. She used to wear very cool short dresses and liked to walk around barefoot and had beautiful, long legs that never stopped. She was striking and people always noticed her but she never felt it herself and this was sad. Even as a child I knew that she was hurting.
It was like seeing a beautiful flower in a storm and no matter how much water it got, it just never grew.