Posted by: Ingrid | November 11, 2008

There are very few things that can make me feel crazier than being back in Fresno. I am continually amazed at the things that can, in a moment, through a scent or look or feel or bar of music, take me back to some memory in the past.

I think most people wouldn’t readily admit that going home makes them feel crazy, or act it, but I’m guessing that to some extent it does. It’s hard to admit though, that sometimes just being in that familiar setting can cause internal motion that I can’t even verbalize. Something is triggered or pushed or that bit of me that I thought had grown up but is really holding out on me decides to emerge in all of its painful glory.

Sometimes I pinch myself because I think it all must have been a dream. Did those memories with the whole family; picking out Christmas trees, making cookies, being together all five of us in the same house, did they happen? Was that real? Did I really have a mom who was really tangibly there? Was there a time before cancer and chemo and horrible supplements that are still sitting on the shelf a year and five months later? Did that exist? Was there really a time when there was a future talked about and plans being made and things that would happen that included all of us? Was there a time that didn’t include this painful raw part of me that mostly stays somewhere under the surface? Sometimes it seems as though it was never real.

Going back to the house is deceitfully disarming. So many changes have been made; furniture moved, things thrown out, new tile, new projects. But in the middle of all the change are bits and pieces of this sort of former life that slowly faded away when my mom got sick and ended when she died. Even with changes the rooms and hallways are heavy with memories.

Was all of this really ever real?





  1. I am so glad to know of this site. Thanks for linking me. It helps to catch me up some on what has been going on in your life.

    I think you’re on to something as far as how being at home can make you feel crazy… maybe that’s my problem, eh? 😉
    I know what you mean though, how so many things can trigger different memories. In fact, even with this song I’m listening to right now…

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your mother.
    I can imagine how hard that is.

    “Was that real? Did I really have a mom who was really tangibly there?”

    I can really relate to that. I have been distanced from my birth family for almost 5 years now. I have seen an aunt and grandparent’s a couple times though.
    But sometimes I miss my mother SO much and my sister’s too. To feel such a connection… and then to seemingly lose it all.

    “Was there really a time when there was a future talked about and plans being made and things that would happen that included all of us?”

    Since I was 10 years old, my birth mother told me of all the great things we would do, when we were finally “together”. It seemed like us against the world. Then when my sister was born, it was the 3 of us.
    She said that her family was incomplete without me. She had an “ache in her heart”, a piece missing that only I could fill.
    Finally, when we met and those dreams started to become a reality, *poof*, they were gone; she was gone. I had been building practically my whole life around them.
    It makes me feel so lost at times.
    I still like to *pretend* it isn’t so. That she is still in my life.
    But she’s like a ghost. It haunts me.
    I never know when, or even if, she will return. I’m not even sure how I would deal with that possibility now. It has been so long and trust has been broken. I have changed a lot.
    But I will ALWAYS love her. I will always love my sisters. I will always love my birth father and his family.

    I really hope (and pray) that I will see them all in heaven… where everything will be understood and “there will be no more sorrow”.
    It must be comforting to KNOW that you will see your mother again.

    Love you!

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