Last night I went out with Charlie about 9:30 and the first thing I noticed was the full moon. Various layers of grayish-beige clouds moved quickly across it. At times the clouds completely covered the moon.

I would wait and within a few seconds the clouds moved on and I was able to see the moon again.

I was transfixed. I have never seen clouds moving so quickly in the sky.

I don’t know anything about astronomy, but it was quite a sight to behold. I almost didn’t want to go back in. I wanted to sit down in the chair and watch this happen over and over again.

When I was younger I used to wonder if my mother might be looking up at the moon and wondering about me.

My mother was not what I’d call a normal acting person. Of course, only having met her a couple of times, it would probably behoove me not to characterize her due to the brevity of our relationship.

There was something wrong with her. That much was clear to me immediately. She was not like other mothers. She was not like other adults. There was a clear and defining deficit that was readily apparent upon being in her presence more than a couple of minutes.

I’ve wondered if she had a more debilitating form of autism. Her mother was just like her if not worse. Maybe it dilutes down in the gene pool as it flows through the bloodline.

They weren’t capable of caring about their children anymore than they cared about a stranger walking down the street. It just wasn’t there. Something got crossed in the wiring and couldn’t be connected.

When I was young and stared at the moon, I allowed myself to see a romanticized version of my mother. Or rather, the woman who just happened to give birth to me.

I know now that she never stood in the darkness staring up at the sky wondering about any of her six (that I know of) children.

She was akin to birds or rabbits or squirrels. They bring their young into the world and then scatter across the earth. There is no real relationship beyond that.

I look at the moon now and just see a wondrous sight. One that plays out across the sky every night whether I’m out there to witness it or not.

There are no longer romanticized versions of people dancing through my head. They have all faded away with time.

Now this is what I think as I stare up at the dark sky:

I see the moon and the moon sees me.

And that is enough.

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22 Comments

  1. A favorite memory from childhood is driving home late on a Saturday night after my family had been to visit some relatives who lived in a tiny community about 12 or 15 miles from our home. I would feel safe and snug in the car as I looked out the window at the moon. However, I was confused because at times the moon seemed to be on one side of the car, and then it would be on the other side of the car. It took awhile for me to understand that as the car went around some big curves in the road it meant I was looking out the window at a different compass direction for a bit — the car was heading southwest, but would briefly switch to northwest during the curve and then back to southwest again. I didn’t speak up and say anything about my confusion for fear my older brother would tease me for not understanding something. I’m glad I finally figured it out on my own, even though it took awhile!

  2. Funny…I was watching the moon and the fast-moving clouds last night for a long time, too. I was absolutely mesmerized. Though I was watching through my screen/glass door because it was too cold last night to be standing outside. Unless I wanted to bundle up, which I didn’t. But anyway, it’s cool to know that you were watching, too.

  3. Brenda, that you have grown into such an articulate, caring soul despite what was handed you speaks volumes. I’m glad to have come to know you as a blog friend.
    I love the moon, have always considered it a friend up their in the sky, ever present. When I was a child, my parents were an unhappy marriage. I’d look up at the moon and the tall oaks around our home and considered them friends standing guard over our house. Sounds silly, but it was a comfort.

  4. Brenda, you should write a book. Your words are wonderful, they pull you in…even though your topic is sad, you never want them to stop…

  5. Beautiful piece Brenda. What happened after your great grandma died? Did you continue to live with your child like grandmother? Did you sort of raise yourself from then on? I can’t imagine the challenges you faced.

  6. I was looking at the moon last night too. I was thinking about all the mothers around the world taking care of their children under the same moon. We are all truly linked by our humanity. Praying for the Kurdish mothers as they try to keep their children, their families alive. All my troubles seem so trivial in comparison.

  7. I looked up at the moon the other night and wondered if my husband was looking at me from above. Beautiful post, Brenda, and sad, too.

  8. How fortunate that you have been able to love your children…maybe too much trauma changed the DNA for your mom and her mom? I am amazed in recent years to read how that actually happens!!

  9. Your words are so beautiful Brenda. I look up at the moon all the time and it’s amazing the past couple nights. I like to think of all the people I know probably looking at the same bright moon as me and it gives me comfort we are all linked together. Even if you didn’t have a loving mother, you have a loving heart in you caring for pets as they age and reaching out to get a rambunctious cat to brighten your day. It takes a special person in my book to love animals as much as we do and care for their needs as they are very dependent on humans to provide for them. Some of my friends don’t possess that gene I have found out through life so I am grateful it’s in me cause their life seems empty and I try to understand why they feel that way when they talk about various subjects. They listen to me like I am weird to want to get back home for my pets but it’s just who I am like it’s who they are.

  10. I think that, despite considerable life challenges, you’ve blossomed into a beautiful, generous, compassionate woman on your own strength. If we lived close by, I’d seek your friendship, but I would eventually understand your contentment with solidarity and respect that, admiring you from a distance – the way I do now!

  11. Brenda,
    I thought your Grandma raised you? Was that not your mom’s mom?
    I wish I could have seen that moon.
    Sounds lovely! Have a great day.

    1. It was my great-grandmother who raised me till she died when I was 13. The same person raised my mother. My grandmother lived with my great-grandmother because she was like a child.

  12. The moon was so beautiful last night up here in MN also. In fact, I think the moon has been noticeably brighter lately.
    Have you continued to have a relationship with your newly found sister?

    1. Unfortunately no. I think she looks at every relationship as someone who will potentially leave or hurt her. It is her way of coping and I understand that. She has been through a lot. A few months ago she sent a barrage of complaints to me that pretty much settled that she didn’t want further family contact. I respect her wishes. I may not understand them, but I respect them.

    1. I love that poem. I see the moon and the moon sees me. God loves the moon and God loves me. I was also out about midnight walking my dog and watching the moon. It was absolutely beautiful. It looked like you could almost touch it. Happiness is the small things. Here I was fussing about our dog having to go out and ended up having the best time. God works in strange and wonderful ways.

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