Tuesday, March 8, 2011
My mother always watched me from a distance or just out of her peripheral. I was pretty much free to do my thing. Every endeavor, she encouraged, no matter how wacky. I used to contort my body like a pretzel on our front porch while my mom watched from behind the screen door, smiling, and cooing like a proud bird. During her last days, her body swollen from kidney failure and barely able to walk, she came to my roller derby games and watched me get knocked violently to the infield, get up and race around the track. My dad couldn’t bear to watch, but my mom remarked afterwards “My, you’re so fast.” She was an eccentric, and she didn’t care what others thought. The best piece of advice she ever gave me was “What do you care what others think of you?” She watches over me, and I will continue to do just as I please, and I feel so fortunate for the freedom I have.
My great Aunt Anna is watching over both of us in this photo. Everyone in my immediate family is named after Aunt Anna because my mom was so fond of her. She used to travel all over the world with my mother. When my mother was in an abusive relationship, before I was born, my Aunt Anna got her out of the situation. She is fearless, patient, and stubborn. I’m going to visit her this Summer. If I try to help her too much, or even vaguely suggest that her age is slowing her down, she will snap and me and say “ I can do it myself.”