a victoria p


21 March 2007

an incomplete memoir.

Last night, I had a dream that my mother died.

I am a twenty-one year old, Brooklynite. I have been living away from home since I was eighteen.

I grew up in the suburbs of New York. Not exactly the countryside and not exactly the woodlands, though I had countryside and I had woodlands and I had Shoprite. I grew up on a piece of property that was nearly one acre in size and, originally, mostly woodlands. When I was in eighth grade, or so, I begged my parents for a swimming pool, for a few consecutive summers. They eventually tore down the acreage behind our dwelling and built me a suburban swimming pool, which in New York, was common to consist of a round, thirty-two foot diameter long, above ground water basin, enclosed by a raised cedar/pine porch. In this particular case, it raised its middle-American head on the “mountain” behind my house. My ranch-styled house was built in somewhat of a valley, according to the pool’s proximity, so it was a bit of a hike up the poolside.

My mother is a very productive woman. She always has something going on, hands-on, in her life. At the time the pool was raised, it was her calling to construct a beautiful garden in is perimeters. She has been working on it, seasonally, ever since.

Before eighth grade, I found myself begging my parents for a minivan. My parents, being native city folk, had not thought about keeping such a “marshmallow” -shaped car. I remember my mother’s small Nissan Sentra, which was seemingly hip for its time, with its power windows. All I wanted was a minivan, to be escorted in, like my other friends in middle school, with blue eyes and some, even, with freckles.

I had no idea of my parent’s sophistication when I was a child, but I was born, as they were, in New York City. I was abruptly taken, and placed, in the suburbs, far out of the city, at a young age. My father, most recently then, being a New York City Police Department Sergeant, wanted to raise his family in a house, outside of the city where he worked daily with criminals.

My mother, however, was a schoolteacher. She attended Columbia University, receiving two Masters’ degrees, only a few credits short of her Ph. D.

As a child, I remember commuting with my mother, to a neighboring school in Manhattan, for my earlier grade-school years. I attended the Manhattan School of Science and Mathematics, until third grade.

I commuted with my mother, in the wee-hours of the morning (those of which no child at that age should see) to Manhattan, to attend classes at the neighboring school in which she taught at. My teacher’s name was Sabrina (we were on somewhat of a first-named bases because she knew my mother). She liked me (or my mother) so much that she had a personalized wooden puzzle made for me, in which spelt my name, the alphabet, and the numbers one through ten. I’m sure it’s in the attic of my parent’s ranch, until this day.

I vaguely remember my mother becoming the principal to my early grade school. I remember her round belly, with my younger sister growing inside of it, as well as her hot-pink lipstick and Julia Robert’s-like smile and floozy hair. I remember taking the red puzzle Sabrina had made me home, in our Nissan Sentra, commuting an hour upstate in my denim overalls and braided hair. I toyed with it in the back seat, daily.

My mother brought me faithfully to school with her until the later trimester of her pregnancy with my younger sister. Each morning, she packed me a banana, in which I specifically remember her scolding me to eat in her rear-view mirror, while she parallel parked.

Eventually, my mother became too pregnant. She was forced to take a leave, as a teacher, and retire semi-permanently to her king-sized bed with the wooden boundaries, in our ranch, in the suburbs.

It was there where I first met my sister. Months before she was birthed, I leaned onto her and read her stories of little pigs and princesses. It was there, on my mother’s belly, where I taught my unborn sister about astronomy, explaining Jupiter’s storms and the Little Dipper.

My sister was born and there was the video footage to prove it. My parent’s claim, to this day, that with the greater technology, they were able to capture my sister from a younger age than I could have ever been documented. I find this not to be a problem; after all, my sister was a much better-looking child than I was, with her banana curls and button nose.

Some time passed, and I believe my mother returned, somewhat briefly, to teaching. When my sister was three years old, in 1993, my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, that of which she believes she had all along.

Before she was diagnosed and after she briefly returned back to teaching, following my sister’s birth, somewhere around 1992, she had a few extensive procedures. These procedures allowed her doctors to finally reach the diagnosis of MS, all while not allowing her to return to her passion of teaching.

I was about seven or eight when I rushed to my mother’s bedside, skidding along the wood floors of our ranch’s hallways, and told her that, “she needed attention, too.” This was while she was recovering, at home, from her second spinal tap.

I still don’t know as much as I should about the details of Multiple Sclerosis, along with everything that comes with it, including those very first spinal taps, in which it was discovered in my mother. I do know, that as a selfish and egocentric New Yorker, I could not endure such a life changing disease.

(...stay tuned for some actual worthy conclusion and some much needed editing.)

1 comment:

chris said...

mom's are great aren't they?

i mean seriously...where would we be without them?

nowhere...thats where.

i would write about my mom, but i wouldn't do her justice. so i'll just write about writing about my mom.

p.s. i meant to tell you that i didn't finish that essay i sent..which you probably figured out. i mean to finish it soon. i just can't figure out the ending just yet.

Get free html for hit counter .