I wanted to write the story of my mother. But when I started constructing it in my head I realized that it would take far too long and based on my scattered knowledge, wouldn't make much sense to anyone outside the family. She's complex, my mother. Her story is full of independence, restlessness, a great lost love, a long drawn out painful marriage, numerous missteps and triumphs. It is a great story, but an unfinished one. And without her permission and memories to pick from I'm afraid I couldn't do the telling of it justice.
The same goes for my grandmother, the matriarch of our small triangle. My mother, my grandmother, me. We are the only family I claim. The only family I really know. I broke the triangle, transformed it into a circle with the birth of Sugarbaby. Four women with the same middle name and the same hot-tempered bloodline. Each unique but each like the other.
I don't so much see myself as being like my mother. Physically there are a few resemblances. You can most certainly tell we are related. Our mannerisms and facial expressions are quite alike. Our voices, especially over the telephone, are a complete mimic of each other. But my mother embodies beauty, grace, and class. A knack for knowing just how to act in mixed company. There is a secrecy about my mother that keeps me at bay. Just beyond knowing her as well as I could, that is where I stand with her.
As for personality, I claim my grandmother. We two are comrades, confiding in each other and seeing one another reflected back. My grandmother was said to be mean, tough, and headstrong as a young woman. She had to be I suppose, raising three boys in her situation. And then my mother came along. And then I came along and somewhere in there she softened up. Just enough that I never knew that woman that they spoke of. But sometimes, I'll be talking to her on the phone and start getting onto the children and she remarks how much I sound just like her. And I take that as a compliment.
Sugarbaby is yet to be pinpointed. I assume, if history repeats and generations skip, she will act like my mother. I hope for her sake she has my mother's levelheadedness, her quick mind, her steadfastness to do what it takes to survive. I hope she has my grandmother's humor, her wit, her sarcasm, her strength that has carried her through all these years. I wish all these things for her and that she knows how amazing her grandmother and great-grandmother are and that she appreciates that she is here on this earth because of three women who are so much alike.
Happy Mother's Day.
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