You’ve Been Gone

My mother, M.I.A all my life.

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Where did you go?

My mother was diagnosed with “early onset” dementia by doctors in Montefiore Hospital in 2012, and I have been lost ever since.

She was straddling two worlds––past and present––for most of my childhood and never found footing in either.  As a child of war, she has been living in trauma for most of her life, haunted by its aftermath ever more.  She married my father, another child of the same war, and they muddled through together by the skin of their teeth.

My mother was damaged.  Did she know she was damaged?  I don’t have the answer to that, but I know I am.  Because I lived through a war too.  The constant fighting between my parents put me in daily emotional and physical peril.

In many ways I am also straddling two worlds because my childhood is merely a part of the continuum that is my life: No matter how old I am, I am still the child I once was.

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December 24, 2014

Occurred to me the other day
You’ve been gone now a couple years
Well, I guess it takes while
For someone to really disappear…

–Patty Griffin, “Goodbye”

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