Oh this little pin. Stick pin to be exact. This was something I found when I was home this summer, long after I thought there would be anything left of my mothers to still find. I was surprised that something so tiny had shown up, but really, that's the point, it was so little, it sort of fell through the cracks. I have always written about how I enjoy those rare times when I can post a photo of my mother wearing a something that I have inherited, but in this case, the photo is far more bittersweet.
In the photo above, you can see the weariness in my mothers eyes, or at least I can. This photo was taken by my mother's best friend, photographer Frances Cox. My mother could always be herself in front of Frances, and even if she hadn't been able to, I think her condition may have been hard to hide. In this photo my mother is struggling deeply, in the throws of chemical dependence. What had started out as the good time 70's, was rapidly descending into a crippling addiction.
It is never pleasant for me to write about that time in my mother's life, and yet, to gloss over it would feel so phony. There is no perfect family, no perfect parent. My mother fought tooth and nail for her sobriety when she finally sought help, and that eventually overshadowed those dark times.
Actually, I cannot believe the fight in her, she never gave up. She just could not win against an unwinnable disease.
Currently it is 4;22 am, and I am doing all the things that people tell you not to do when you have insomnia, sitting up, staring at a computer screen. Today, I lost this pin. I was out shopping for work, carrying too much in my arms, and it slipped off my shirt. The level of sadness I feel is way beyond what I believe is healthy for a little piece of costume jewelry. The lurch in my stomach realizing it was gone, the fear of it being trampled under someones foot, or swept up into the garbage. "Little bird," my mother sometimes called me that. I am so, so, sorry I lost you. The pin is not you. None of these items is you, and yet, losing one of them is breaking my heart.