Today, on International Women's Day, it has been 25 years since my mother died. It doesn't seem to me like it has already been a quarter of a century since that shocking day, yet at the same time, it feels like it happened in another lifetime. I suppose in a way it did, because my life has certainly drastically changed since then in an unrecognizable way. But then again, I knew almost from the moment I heard that my mother had died, that my life would change and never be the same again. I just didn't know at that time what form it would take on and where it would all take place. Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined any of the things that have happened since my mother died.
I don't think, if my mother had lived, that I would have taken the first very bold step that set into motion the series of events that eventually brought me here to this destination. I would not have been shocked out of my complacency and I would have gone on with my predestined life in the Californian suburbs. The circumstances of my mother's death were so extreme, that they could not help but cause a strong reaction on my part and that is indeed what happened. All the false fronts that I had put up, and all the misinformed things I had vainly believed in, stopped being true and I was faced with a different reality. My life became unhinged and I had to find a new one.
I, amongst others, became the casualty of my own misguided attempt at setting myself free. Other tragedies took place and it was as if we had all been in a terrible car wreck for which I was to blame. To deal with the extreme guilt that I felt, I made sure I was among the most extreme wounded and the last to recover, although one of us really did not survive.
A lot is said about a butterfly fluttering its wings in China and the chain of events that sets in motion. I can tell you that one deed can set off a chain of event that affects a whole family and changes the course of many lives in unimagined ways. Life is a journey that should take place without sudden screeching halts and derailments. One should not walk away from the scene of the accident, especially not after having pulled the emergency brake. Having said that, the act of forgiveness also counts for yourself.