Monday, May 9, 2011

Missing mom.

I spent the weekend in Ludlow with Mike and, thus, spent my Mother's Day with his family at a brunch. It was lovely, and there was more food than I know what to do with (though Mike knew just what to do: eat. it. all.). There was a punch bowl of mimosas, such good coffee, and loads of his family I've now met and whose names I have now forgotten. Guh.

After brunch we fought off a nap and went to play tennis and catch at his old high school before coming back home and relaxing on the couch. A quick dinner of leftovers with his parents ended in Mike getting sick, so we headed back home for the couch and A Clockwork Orange. About halfway through the movie, my mom called.

You see, I have such a large family with such a strange and long-winded story that I tend to not explain it to people. I'm not a particularly private person, it's just that I've explained why none of my four siblings and I have the same father, or why none of us live in the same state, that I tend to leave out all details to avoid the inevitable follow-up question: Wait, what? 

My mother is a beautiful, barely five feet tall Chamorro woman. Like her children, she is emotional and, like her children try to be, she is loving and tender. There are versions of my mother that I will never know; the version of her that my father met in Guam almost 26 years ago, before he married her and her three children from relationships prior to him. There are the versions that came before her alcoholism, before her first child, before her second, and third. Even the version that raised me is clouded, coming back to me in bits of unchronological, sometimes incoherent, memory. Mostly those versions of her come to me daily, in my siblings' and my own idiosyncrasies, facial expressions in photographs, accented words, turns of phrases. And though she is far away - across the world in Saipan - she is right here in the darkness of my hair, the slant to my eyes, the shape of my feet (much larger than hers), and the way my fingers find themselves caressing the backs of my friends and boyfriend.

Where is your mother this Mother's Day?

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