Saturday, September 22, 2007

turning into my mother

according to some idiotic blog on AOL - okay, nuff said... but beyond that... it said that a woman's worst fear was turning into her mother. maybe that's the writer's own worst fear... because it's never been mine.

i may not always like my mother. i may not always agree with my mother. i may not always condone the things she says and does. but one thing i am not afraid of, not now, not ever... is turning into her.

my mother is a woman who made a man give up god. my mother is a woman who raised four children, one of them mentally handicapped. the rest of my siblings have done just fine :). my mother is a woman who on this hot and muggy last-day-of-summer morning is getting on a plane and flying to australia to paddle in the dragon boat races as part of a breast-cancer survivor team. my mother is a woman i frequently admire.

besides, i can imitate her voice with eerie accuracy. i don't know why i can do this... i don't know how i can do it. my skull, my sinuses, my voice box.... all the accoutrements of speech must've been laid in my own throat to the blueprint of my mother's... because when i choose to shape my tone into hers.... whammo, there she IS.

i told my sister who lives in boston once that when our mother is Gone, i would call her and john up on their birthdays and pretend to be her. there was a long silence on the other end of the phone while my sister waited for me to finish laughing my head off.

"nan," sheila said, "that's sick." there was another long pause. then she said, "too bad we're not together... we could call john and see if you can get him to believe you now."

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