Friday, July 29, 2011
My second mother is how I refer to this woman who married my father two years after my birth mother's death. 'Stepmother' would never do justice to this mother who scooped me up at the age of 2-1/2 and called me her very own forever afterwards. She met my father on a blind date, fixed up by mutual friends. She said she fell in love with him after he introduced her to me. I guess we made a complete and compelling package, my dad and me, and we three became an instant family.
I slipped the ring onto my finger that day in her bedroom. It was as light as air and as lovely as my memories of her. I wore the ring for the next ten years, and each time I looked at it I was reminded of her.
Last week, after tossing a stick into the lake for my dog Moses to retrieve, I realized that the ring was gone. It had simply vanished. In that moment of loss I imagined that when I had flung the stick far out into the deep water for the dog, I had cast the ring from my finger as well. I felt an immediate and profound sense that I had lost a physical connection with my mother. My brain told me that it was futile to think I could find the ring under the water, and I sat by the shore thinking fanciful thoughts to comfort myself ... maybe a fish will swallow the ring and one day I will catch the fish and the ring will come back to me; if it is meant to be mine, the ring will return; maybe I am no longer needy of physical reminders of my mother....
My finger was naked for a week and many times each day I missed the physical presence of the ring. I still felt it's ethereal energy circling my finger and I mourned its absence. Many times I told myself that I was experiencing loss and that I must learn some constructive ways to deal with this. After all, it was just a ring. Yes, but also on some level, I was experiencing anew the loss of my mother. Ah, the old familiar feelings of loss and having to let go. I do not handle loss well, it having been a recurring theme throughout my life.