Death affects each one differently. There is a finality that the living can only intellectualize; the emotions are quite different. After a tumultuous existence with her mercurial and unpredictable mother, Amanda now must reflect back on her own experiences and grapple with the maze of emotions that she had repressed to maintain her sanity. Between outbursts of incomprehensible rage to almost cloying affection, Amanda’s mother’s mercurial personality permeated every aspect of their life together, and stalked Amanda as an adult. Forbidden to cry from an early age, Amanda had to suppress her emotions. Outwardly, her mother appeared level-headed and competent, but her inner world was entirely different: Distrustful and capricious, she found fault in everyone, especially Amanda, and minced no words in letting everyone know. Amanda had to dance with the untenable shifts in standards and expectations imposed upon her. Multiple incidences of bizarre behavior accentuated the difficulties Amanda had to face on a daily basis. For reasons she could not completely understand Amanda never fully abandoned her contact and discussions with her mother. The chemistry between mother and daughter remained an emotionally violent one from the beginning to the end. Even death of her mother could not silence the inequities of an abusive past. The distrust and hate engendered by her mother evaporated as the old woman receded from the real world into death. In the end the relationship of love between mother and child superseded all other feelings. The actions of the past could not be forgotten, but the relief experienced now that Amanda was free gave her hope for a better life ahead, no longer walking on eggshells or looking over her shoulder.
The story is not written in chronological order, but presents Amanda’s experiences in haphazard episodes as unpredictable as her life had been. Some passages, especially poetry, are written in French. Wherever possible, a translation was provided.
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