You told me you loved me over and over, and I believed you. Never for a moment did I doubt that infinite love, or feel rejected, abandoned, less-than. I was chosen. I chose you. My eyes met yours and we became one forever. You held me and have never let me go.
I loved you more than anything in this world; I still love you more than you’ll ever know. Or maybe you do know? Maybe that’s how you managed to keep your patience with me all those times I screamed in your face that you’re not my mother? The times as a petulant child when I’d say I wished someone would come and rescue me and take me back to my real mother? Maybe you knew that regardless of the way I came to be yours, I was never anyone else’s? Is that endless well of love, that mother’s love, the thread that connected us even when times were terrible between us? All those nights I never came home, the worry, the threats, the cruelty and harsh words I threw at you. Is that how a mother’s love survives? By hanging onto the moments when our infants stared into our eyes, filled with adoration and trust?
Mom, I love you. The words cannot convey the feeling.
Me, with my pale skin and grey-blue eyes. You, with your olive skin and eyes so deep blue they’re nearly black. You, with your artistic skills and me, with my wit. Me, clumsy and silly and you, ever-graceful and composed. My body so different from yours, my mannerisms seeking only to imitate.
We would stare into the mirror, faces pressed together by my desperate hands.
“Same-same, right mommy? We look the same, right?”
“Yes, we are the same.”
Except we’re not.
And as much as I love you and Dad so fully, deeply and unquestioningly this journey is one I have to take. It diminishes none of my love. It lessens none of the importance of who our family is. It takes nothing away.
I just hope you understand.