Twelve Years Old in a Fragment of a Moment

I went for a walk with my mother and found myself imagining her sleeping on a stranger’s farm in July 1952. Our walks take time. My mom’s walker helps her only so much. I’m by her side, and we talk. Some of the corridors are long and quiet. She sometimes asks me how soon until we reach the next chair where she can sit down. I haven’t told her I’m in psychoanalysis and speaking on a couch about my childhood. Sessions seem to provide me with both the physical and mental space to explore the various symbolic ways I’ve remained by my mom’s side all of these years. When my mom and I are on our walks, and I see firsthand what Parkinson’s is doing to her body, I enjoy moments like the ones we had today, when she talked about coming across one of her mom’s diaries, written in Norwegian, that her mom had kept during that summer of 1952. My mom was twelve. They drove from Toronto to Seattle and back, and according to my mom this afternoon, asked permission to camp on farms. Her voice and face came alive as she spoke about her mom’s diary that she read this morning. My mom can’t read much anymore, and this was the first time in months that she’d spoken about something she’d read. She said she would translate and read some of the diary entries to me. I said I looked forward to it. Fragments of memories came to me from camping trips with my mom and dad and brother and sister when I was around twelve. Life is so short, and there’s so much inside each of us of each moment.


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