Remembering Mom

I am the keeper of the dreams and the memories, the matrix where the generations converge, the record-book held between familial bookends. I am responsible for passing her life on to him that she may continue to live and that he may understand the consequences of history and culture as people commonly do.

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The Individual

It’s Tuesday 23rd January 2001 and I don’t want to go to school. Today is a different day from the ones that have gone before. Every day since Saturday has been a different day from the ones that have gone before.

I get myself up, and dressed. I eat my breakfast on my own in the kitchen, which is like a waiting room. I delay deliberately so that I can get the later train. No one else from school will be on that train, and I won’t have to explain. 

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An Even Keel

I heard the words, but they had never really registered. “Remember, no sleep for two year!” my boss warned when I shared the news of my second pregnancy with him.

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Don't

It’s a filthy place, the inside of his mind, but I’ve ruthlessly forced myself to wade through the sewage of his thoughts.

He followed me for a block, waiting until we were somewhere with less traffic.

I am cerebral person, I have to think about things, rationalize them, untangle them, for a long time after they happen. Even if it’s torture. Even if it’s pointless.

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The Unloveable Little Girl

I am not allowed to be angry. I don’t mean I’m not allowed to yell or break things or act out, though that is strictly forbidden as well, obviously. I mean I am not allowed to feel the emotion itself. It has no place in my being, no space it can comfortably take up. Instead, it squeezes into other homes, transforms into anxiety or rejection or, a personal favorite, self-loathing.

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Rage

Rage enveloped me in my mother’s womb. It bathed me in amniotic fluid that permeated my cells, and developed who I was about to become. The origin of this rage could have evolved from my mother’s life events.My mother from Japan, who immigrated to America a decade after WWII ended. Whose legs carried her as she and her family ran from their house after it was bombed and burned to the ground, barely making it out alive. Whose eyes witnessed the horrors of war, when her city of Osaka was burning.

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How My Surprise Miscarriage Taught Me My Greatest Strength

It was a Sunday in September and I was nursing one of the worst hangovers I’d had since college. Hours of restless sleep, lying completely still on my back in the dark, choking down stale crackers only to lose them again a few moments later; this became the day’s very unwelcome routine. The night before was the wedding of a good friend and I absolutely took advantage of the open bar.

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The Binge

Leaving cardiac rehab, I don’t know yet that I will binge today.  It’s after the binge that I realize it was a shadow clinging to my heel since I opened my eyes and stumbled to the bathroom to pee and brush my teeth.  

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The Real Lesson

I was always working hard to keep up appearances with family, friends and anyone who I thought I needed to impress. In high school, I experienced fear. It was a fear of being caught-out for not understanding what was being taught in the classroom. In no time at all, I became good at acting. I possessed all the skills necessary to give a convincing performance and I was very believable.

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