A Reluctant Mother

For a long time, I didn’t want to be anything like my Mother; I considered her weak and sniveling, neglectful and a child. I was angry, rightfully so, but I did not want to be like my Mother. I did not want to see her hands when I looked at mine, the way our fingers were fattest near the palm and tapered towards the nail. I did not want to hear her voice spilling from my throat, a southern drawl that melted over the lips like honey. I refused to be anything like her.

But I am; not just in looks, but in spirit. She was not weak or sniveling, neglectful, yes, but not a child. She was a woman ravished by her mental illnesses, taken advantage of, worn down by unworthy lovers, a mother doing her best, or trying to at least. I love 80s pop and rock n roll music because of her. I am an artist because I sat and watched her hands, my hands, delicately and painstakingly create. I always choose a Horror movie over a Rom Com, because she sparked my love of the strange and unusual when she allowed me to see Poltergeist one late night. As I have gotten older, my hands are her hands, especially now that I wear her rings. My voice doesn’t drip with honeysuckle anymore but her words fall out of my mouth on a daily basis.

My Papa called me by her name more often than by my own name, he told me that I was her twin in every way; every word, every gesture, she was all he saw. I wonder if he wished I was her, or she was me.

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