Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Thinking Of Mom

Mom as a young woman

One hundred and ten ~ years ago today, my mom was born in Stockhom, Sweden. In those days, the capital city was small and as my dad was born there also, this is pretty rare. They met on a tennis court, married late, which was also unusual in those days, and I so wish I could end this with saying that they lived happily ever after. 

I know their early years were good, I have many happy pictures of myself and my brother as babies and giggling toddlers. 

Then in 1947, my sister was born with the most severe form of Down Syndrome. My dad found himself unable to deal with the emotional part of this, the part that should have been loving and supportive. He oversaw the financial care of my sister after she was placed in care for children with developmental issues, but the rest, the love and support my mom needed, the visiting, the loving his daughter, he was unable to give. 

At home we never talked about her, only my mom visited her. When I became old enough to understand something was wrong at home, I became the support my mom so badly needed. We would go together and visit my sister, who, while she did not understand who we were, knew we were special. And I fell in love with her, she was such a joy. Her name was Ann-Marie, but her caregivers affectionately called her Ammi. She was supposed to die in her 20s they said. Well, she died in 2005, at the age of 58.

I never confronted my father, I never asked why, and it took me years, until the 1970s and a very good psychologist, to finally work through my feelings and forgive my dad. 

I have no idea why I'm sharing this with you guys, it just sort of came pouring out. I'm not upset about it any longer, I guess that today, on my mom's birthday, I just wish my parents years together had been happier. 

But after many more tragic years with my brother's addiction and death, and me far away, my mom met an old sea captain at the assisted living place. They got married and had a few happy years together. 

And for that, I am grateful.


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