So Mama herself wasn’t spoiled in the mothering department.
Her mother Hedwig died aged 42. Hedwig’s big girl, Mama’s older sister, was 14. Hedwig’s little girl Erika was 4. All this happened in ’44. So many 4s.
I was 42 when Mama died.
Strange geometry that.
Aged 42 her mother dies.
Aged 42 her daughter sees her off into her death.
Hedwig and I frame her. It’s as if at the same age, 68 years apart, we joined hands around Erika, her little girl, my Mama. We’ve got her – on both sides of the divide – I over here, Hedwig over there. I passed her to the mother she never knew.
Mothers and daughters. That is where my grief gets complicated.