Carry Me

25 Sep

Did she hold me now? Three hours ago? 12? Did they leave me in her room, snuffling, comatose little child beside her as colostrum poured from her breasts? Did she look out the window, perhaps at the rain, as they wheeled me away from her 17 year old unfinished hands, clutching at her elbows as she suddenly felt emptier than ever? Was I alone, screaming in a room, my echoes covered by those of a multitude of other lives I’d never touch again, their mothers waiting in their rooms, warmed by the slow engorging of their breasts, the blissed tiredness of their labours?

Did I know she had left me? Did my small trembling fists know what had happened, that she had signed a paper releasing me from her, just another cord to slice through? Did I feel the gulf then, as I do now, wavering and shimmering, a golden forest of time, of pressure, of regret between us.

Does she think of me today, now? Does she drink the beer she drank for years, not knowing, or is she at peace, knowing I survived, knowing that I have grown strong and tall, if not a little knicked and torn in place?

Did she love me, ever?


Do you love your mother
The way I love mine
Expecting nothing of her
’cause she was changing all the time
I couldn’t take my mother
And I’ll never hate my home
But I learned to rock myself child
And get on

Do you feel your mother
The way I feel mine
I tried to change the nature
But now I like it ’cause it’s mine
And I let you love me up
And I let you bring me home
And I could go away
But I don’t wanna

I don’t wanna be too smart
I don’t wanna talk too fast
I don’t wanna look too precious
First impressions never last
There’s always complications
Weird vibrations
Have patience

Do you love your mother
’cause God I love mine
In a dream she let me love her
Gotta hand it to my mind
In case you never meet her
I’ll tell you what it is
She was lonely like a woman
But she was just a kid

Oh mama
What are ya doin’
Yeah yeah yeah
Carry me


Today I turned 31 at around 2:15am. And it hit me, mid afternoon, that I’ve never known when my mother said good-bye to me, when the finality of all she had done and decided had hit, when she last touched me, held my fingers. I’ve never known, and when I met my biological mother, I was too young to think of these things, to young to understand the heartbreak of saying goodbye to your first born.

All my life, I have felt lonely on my birthday. I have always craved as much fuss and bother as I could get, and rarely, if ever, have had it. I figured this had much more to do with losing my adoptive mother than with being adopted. But what if? What if a body retains that initial abandonment, what if it remembers that hand leaving, tears trailing, months of unwillingness swirling in the womb. What if the body remembers what the brain dare not?

I don’t much like my biological mother. Or much of my biological family for that matter. Blood isn’t thicker than water in my case. But when I met her, I wanted, more than anything, to find a mother, my mother. I wanted to be embraced, welcomed. I wasn’t, not as I needed, and perhaps finding her at 18 wasn’t the best of ideas, but there was something poetic about meeting her around the age of when she lost me. I couldn’t grasp the enormity of it-bearing life at that age!

I’m sure it hardened her. She told me that for years, she would get stinking drunk on my birthday, wondering where I was, how I was, and that the year she found me, that was the first time she didn’t have to drink herself to sleep, wondering. Turns out I was 40 minutes down the road after all, blissfully ignorant in the arms of two parents who loved me more than I could wish. But she never told me how it all felt, how long her labour was, how scared she had been, if she saw me, or if they took me before she could.

My narrative is incomplete. I feel the echoes of that part of my life, my beginning on every birthday. It no longer hurts, I don’t know if it ever did. But it was a space yearning to be filled, a place that will likely never know fullness. A place to honor what she gave, the arms she left barren, the people who she gave such joy to.

Happy Birth Day to you Mother. I hope your womb has healed.

9 Responses to “Carry Me”

  1. Barbie September 25, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Happy birthday. I wish I had something more meaningful to say, but I hope you have as good a day as you can.

  2. sweetsalty kate September 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    You’re such a beautiful person, thor. I’m completely stunned by this post, by your heart and your story. So many mixed feelings for you today. It feels like such a bloggy cliche to say “sending you peace and light” and “I honour just exactly where you are” and “I’m here and thinking of you” but all that is in my mind, and oops, I just said it.

    Happy birthday, you energy-swirler you.

  3. Marcy September 25, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    Stunned, yikes. Tears poking out despite me.

    It makes me think of all those PPD days when I wished I could undo the birth — because I knew that if I ran away, if I hurt her, if I gave her to someone else, I would still know she had been born, she lived, and I couldn’t ever really get away, and wouldn’t always want to.

  4. BroMac September 27, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    All of it was beautiful and touching.

    Wishing you peace.

  5. Lisa Kay September 27, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    May your 32nd year of life be the year in which you discover your peace, wisdom, and strength.

    Ever since the 2001 death of my mother [the “real” one who raised me after adopting me], my birthdays have been one long crying jag.

    I never considered searching for my birth mother until 2007 and I often wonder how much of that decision is based on the hope that somewhere out there is someone who will love me the way my Mama did.

    Peace, wisdom, strength – because things are the way they are meant to be, whether we like it or not.
    Lisa kay

  6. Bon September 29, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    crap. i missed your birthday.

    and this beautiful post. i’m glad it was here, at least, for me to catch up with.

    and i wish you a year of joy and content.

  7. Ally September 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    I’ve wondered what my birth actually meant to my mother, what losing me meant – she lost me because of her own actions, never really wanted me at least initially, got pregnant to escape her own mother. I’ve wondered all this with her in my life – as much as she cared to be any given year. Now she’s gone and I’m just left to wonder. It’s not a conversation we could ever have, although I was hoping that some day we’d get there. Happy belated birthday.

  8. Shana September 30, 2008 at 4:58 am #

    Thor, it’s funny how many of your posts are interrelated, whether or not you intend them to be.

    When I read this, and then read others’ comments here, I thought back to your other post “I cannot handle being a mother anymore.”

    I’ve posted at least twice to that entry. I am a reluctant mom who is slowly adjusting (after 4 years!) to motherhood, but I confess that in earlier years, I often had a longing to give up at least one of my children for adoption.

    Now some of you are asking: “If I met my biological mom, would she love me?”

    The obvious answer is yes. I believe that even if the mom had asked the nurse to whisk the baby away immediately, to not let her see it or cuddle it, she would always want to see how that child turned out, and hope and pray for her child’s well being throughout her life.

    My postpartum depression was pretty serious, and at least the 2nd time, dragged out for over 2 years. Even then, when I considered what it would be like to put the kids up for adoption, I knew that part of me would permanently go mad, always wondering about them. I imagined seeing them again years later, overwhelmed with both love and regret and guilt, and wondering: “Why didn’t I just TRY a little harder? I could have done this.”

    So as a mom who would have done it but didn’t (thanks to the hubby), I can tell you what I WOULD have felt if I were in the biological mom’s shoes, seeing you again: Regret. Guilt. Overwhelming love. Wondering if, and how, I could ever make things right with you again.

  9. Lillie October 23, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    Man. I have tears running down from my eyes on down my cheeks, echoes of the pain in the voice of your narrative questioning who your biological mother was to you and who she was, and the words, “I hope your womb has healed” leaves a bitter sting in my throat. Man. I cannot even begin to think of how much pain or heartache you have felt throughout the years, but reading just this one post has made me see just a tiny glimpse of how you feel being adopted impacted you as a young newborn up to adult. It absolutely breaks my heart that even now you wish for you biological mother’s womb to be healed in a way that provides healing for her, and, yet, you still struggle to cope with how see this world as a child of adoption. My hope for you is for you to continue working through those thoughts and experiences in a way that allows you to feel justified in needing to grieve in the ways you express, and that you find some way to begin healing after such traumatic experiences. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I am sure she would want to see you rise above in love for yourself and out of her own love for you to be happy and be at peace.


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