It’s a joy to welcome Miss TB to the blog today to tell her story.
The final scene in Empire of The Sun where Jamie finally reconnects with his mother pulls at my heart strings. He stands there motionless, staring into space, while all the other children are hugging and kissing their parents. When his mother finally sees him, she moves in front of him calling his name. He looks up at her, with a little boy lost look on his face, not sure of who she is. He touches her hands, her face, her lips, examining the lipstick on his fingers. Gently lifts off her hat and feels her hair. Something inside him realises who she is, and he slowly pulls her towards him, hugs her tightly. His head rests on her shoulder, eyes still over, before slowly closing his eyes and you can feel the relief that overwhelms him. He had come home.
As an adoptee, it would have been my ideal reunion with my birth mother. To be held tightly, to feel the warmth of a mother’s hug, too smell her perfume, to touch her hair, to hear her voice and her laugh. To examine every inch of her face searching for those all-important similarities. To see my reflection in her eyes as they lit up with joy and to watch all the pain to drain away. Most of all to hear the words ‘I love you, I’ve always loved you and I have thought about you every day. I should have fought to keep you all those years ago and kept you safe.’ She’d tell me she was back in my life for good, not going anywhere and that we were going to make up for all the lost years. She would take me back home where I belonged.
She would have been the ideal mother, my best friend and confidant. We’d have had a proper mother/daughter relationship. We would talk openly with each other, laugh and cry, and chat endlessly about our pasts, our hopes and dreams, our fears and she’d reassure me there was nothing to be afraid of anymore. She’d be the person I looked up to, asked advice from and confided in. I would have made her proud.
When I tried to hug my birth mother, she wouldn’t have frozen like I was a stranger; she would have held me and told me everything was going to be ok. She wouldn’t have made me afraid to confide in her, to ask for her help when I needed it for fear of being belittled and made to feel I was not good enough. She would never intentionally set out to hurt me, to make me angry and upset, or throw things back in my face when you knew it would hurt the most. Yes, we would have had our ups and downs; we would have argued, possibly fought like cat and dog and then always made up.
We would have gone on holiday together to many different places, the travelling bug was of course is in our blood; I just never got to go to all the places she did. I didn’t have the confidence to travel on my own like you and my sisters.
I would have taken care of her when she became ill, sat by her bedside, telling her how much I loved her loved and not to be afraid. I would have given her all I had to give.
Unfortunately, it was never meant to be. We were two pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle but placed in different boxes. The short period of time when I was born was to be out last physical connection. That moment she left must have been engraved in her heart until the day you died.
For me, there is no memory of that moment, no recollection of the bond that was there from the moment I was conceived. All that I ever wished for, hoped for, gone.
Until a dear friend pointed out to me that life does not end, that the stories I had created all my life did not have to die as well. I could hold onto them, there were mine to own and keep, whether true or not. My hopes and dreams.