I am still here, and am so sorry about the long break from blogging. I am newly energized and intend to write a lot on this topic of social orphans from here on in.
The main reason I stopped blogging in December was that my mother passed away on December 26. That was the day after Christmas, of course. It seems so long ago already, a mysterious time when that wonderful, unique person left our lives! Agnes, rest in peace.
A special thing about my mother–one of many–is that she never drew any distinction between her grandchildren who were adopted and those who were not. I don’t think she thought in those categories much if at all. She loved children (she enjoyed the little ones much more than the grown up ones!) and responded to them in her life very directly and warmly. After her death, I was completely disoriented–I spent at least two months going through the motions of work and life, but in a state of great unreality. I am happy that I had a chance to spend the last two days of her life with her, and above all had the opportunity to say thank you–we rarely thank our parents for anything and are more inclined to blame them for any faults or defects than to simply say thanks for that tremendous store of knowledge they pass on to us. In those last two days, she kept saying that we had had so much fun, such happy times, and in the end I have to agree with her.
Both my parents had an honest, unpretentious, non-entitled view of the world that I will always value. I am frequently nauseated at the self-serving, professionalized way people relate to one another these days. Academic life has been poisoned by that sort of pretentious bragging and self-promotion and when I recall my parents, I feel justified in always resisting the “non-authentic” approach to life.
So, thanks, Mom. Thanks, Agnes.