Geraldine’s First Story
GERALDINE’S 1ST STORY
I was born in Dublin. My mother left me for America when I was 8 months old. I was brought up by my grandparents, and when I was old enough, I attended school in a convent. My mother would send me packages from America, and the nuns would have me go from classroom to classroom, showing the other students what I got. I was the only one in the school whose mother was in America. Once she sent me an American Indian doll. I was around 7 or 8 years old then. I loved it, but I wasn’t allowed to play with it. It had beautiful white and yellow beads and leather moccasins. It was put in a glass cabinet by my grandmother. She would allow me to take it out occasionally, but I understood it wasn’t a doll I could play with. It was a real Indian with a beautiful face and light beige leather clothes with fringe around the skirt. Another time my mother sent me a pink and blue satin dress with netting that my grandmother made me wear to school. I was paraded throughout the classrooms in my outfit from America.
My mother would like to have me in her life now that she’s alone and she’s in her seventies, but I can’t do anything about that. I don’t need her anymore. I felt that I needed her until I was well into my thirties. My mother wasn’t there for my marriage or the birth of my children. I can’t bring myself to go and visit her. I don’t want to. It’s too late now. All the damage is done.
I don’t judge her for what she did. My mother had her own problems. I never thought about it much until I was holding my own 8-month-old baby. I looked at my little girl and thought, “How could she have left me?” There is never a reason good enough to walk away from a child. I couldn’t find an answer, except complete selfishness, totally driven by one’s own needs.