Yesterday we visited my aunt. She is 89 and has Alzheimer's, just like my mother. She is 5 years younger than my mother. She had no idea who I am, she remembers a 15 year old who visited years ago. That was what I expected.
However, when we started looking at pictures from the distant past, she started talking about her parents and her sister. We would ask questions and she would talk about things.
I have been learning some of the answers to questions in previous posts. My mother told my cousin why she never spoke to her mother. She had been sexually abused by her stepfather and her mother didn't believe her. So this answers why she left home so early & why she never talked with her mother. When I talked to my youngest son (over SKYPE, of course), his response was Bravo for her! and I agree with him.
But my aunt was saying how "my mother was a difficult child" and that was why she left home and went and found a "new mother". Clearly, this is what my aunt was told to explain why my mother was no longer around.
There is so much that I have learned in the week that I have been here and it is going to take some time to digest. All I can say, is that I wish my mother had been able to talk about all of these things years ago. Oh well, such was not the way of the world. I will be writing as I digest the information - it explains so much and so many missing pieces of the puzzle have fallen in my lap. I think that it has been good for my cousins as well - our mothers were far more alike than we ever knew. We have been comparing stories about the past - their similarities and their contradictions.
I even have a picture of my grandmother, grandfather & half-aunt. I also have pictures of my mother & aunt from an earlier period and when mother was a nurse in a pediatrics ward.
The universe unfolds as it will. It has been a very difficult and energizing week. The conference has gone well - I am actually a little bit hopeful.
That's all that faith requires - that we surrender ourselves to the possibility of hope. With that, I am content. (my B5 quote from June 22, 2012)