Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming!

What if humans were incapable of storing memories? We’d all just be like goldfish, wandering around aimlessley, not knowing where we came from or where we want to go.
I have no memories of my mother. None. Her image in my mind has been painted by other people’s descriptions and memories. It’s as if my mind is a canvas, and the picture of my mother is being painted on by everyone else-like a collaboration project, or a collage-and it will only be complete once I lay my actual eyes on her myself.
I have memories pretaining to the subject of her. When I was 5, my sister was in town and it was late at night. She was tucking me in (which rarely happened; I had no bedtime, so I usually just climbed into bed whenever and went to sleep) and I asked “Where’s my mommy?” To which she replied: “I don’t know, baby girl.” The memory is very vivid in my mind, as if I’m telling about an event in the last week.
Another time, in third grade, all my friends were marveled by the fact that I didn’t have a mom. “Who bakes you cookies, then?” “My dad.” “Your dad is a boy, though!” They dared me to ask about her-to which the daredevil little me replied “Sure! I can do that!” So that night, I marched into my den ever so triumphantly, and asked “Where’s my mom?” My grandma replied “We all love you.” THAT DID NOT ANSWER MY STUPID QUESTION!!! I’m still mad about that.
My friends tell me “I’ve heard stories about your mom, I don’t think you want to remember her!” Well, I do. Do you know what it’s like, not knowing your own mother? It’s like half of me is missing, sometimes. As if she took the half of myself that she gave me thirteen years ago, and she’s still hanging onto it. Maybe she keeps it in a little box, marked “HALF OF ALEXANDRIA.” One day, when I meet her, she’ll give me the box back. The box holds memories I never got, feelings I never felt, exoeriences I never experienced. That box holds who I am, and until I meet her and possess that metiphorical box, I can’t know her. And knowing her, crazy as it sounds, is something I want to do. Is it so crazy to want to know your mom, no matter how much of a basket-case she is?
I want those memories back. I refuse to be a confused goldfish any longer.

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2 thoughts on “Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming!

  1. Perla says:

    Wow Ali I’m speachless this touched my heart…. And I really do hope one day your mom gives you your box :)
    with love and respect your friend,
    Perla R.

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