It is only a decade plus later I see the fire with significance. Womanhood. It is something of a trial by fire, isn't it? I sure feel a forging process.
Not that I believe I am quite polished, just that I feel beat and burned into pretty good shape, all things considered. Maybe one of the tools above was the first time I lost a friend as a child. I still think of her. Maybe a tool above was my first love, my first heartbreak as an older girl. And so on to becoming widowed at 36, and so on to meeting my widowed mother at 39. "Meeting" her-- do you know why I say so? Because the mother I have after my stepfather's death is not the mother I had when he was alive. She laughed more then, a lot more, for one obvious thing. For one not so obvious thing, the part of my mother created by his chemistry and hers mixed was gone in the same moment he vanished. Such a part of her that was...
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I let that settle before I approached my daughter. I told her that when I lost my stepfather, I lost the mom I had when he was alive. I told her I was sorry that she did, too. What else was said is ours, but there were tears and there were hugs... because yes, she did too. As careful as I was and as hard as I tried and as slightly enlightened as I felt, it took becoming a child of a widow to see some side of my own daughter of a widow-- the young woman who also lost the mother she had when her stepfather died.
Life is surreal, I think as I see our faces as one.