I'm feeling very pensive and somewhat sad. She has been dead a decade now. Aggressive skin cancer, not much could had been done. And she certainly didn't go to doctor early. We had complex relationship. She was gfgish on her own right. Eternal flower child, passionate and dedicated communist and feminist - or maybe not. Intelligent and intellectual but often chose to close her eyes from truth, if she didn't like it. (I mean, at one point she managed to live almost a year at East Germany and not notice it wasn't a paradise or in it's way to become one. Or at least she didn't admit noticing. Then again, she didn't want to take me (I was maybe seven at the time) with her nor wanted me to visit. When I visited, we spent that week in Western German.) Rebelling against the values of her parents and their community and heritage seemed to be a vocal point of her life. She also fought a lot with them and wasn't talking to them often - and left me to them any time she decided to spend next month or half a year or whatever in other side of the world without second thought. She despised academia, traditional sophistication and schooling - and had PhD and published papers and wrote books that are still reading material in some colleges and she strongly felt I sold myself short, when I after my Masters left Uni and made career choices that made it possible to be home a lot. She was extremely passionate about religious freedom - and flipped when I wanted to take a baptism and become a member of Church in my teens. As I said she was passionate feminist, who considered marriage to be a patriarchate scam (and married five times and let one of those husbands brutally abuse her and even me. And some others of her men (there were more than just husbands) also treated her poorly and she took that), strongly believed women should be able to express their femininity as they wish, but of course choosing to put being a mom (and wife) to first wasn't okay for her. Especially when it came to me. And how she hated my 'quest for white picket fence.' I was a great disappointment for her. I was supposed to be one of those 'new people.' Those who have gotten Summerhillian upbringing, thought for themselves (though she didn't like when I did think on my own and differently from her.) My lack of true artistic talents was almost as big of the blow to her than to my dad (who is an artist and who apparently hoped some kind of mini-him out of me) and she hated that my talents seemed to lie in math and science, like her own, which she also hated. She laughed on what she called 'bourgeois upbringing' and make sure I did got all the skills required. And went to those schools she despised. I often was an adult in our small family. Had to take care of her and everyday things that were beneath her or which she didn't want to waste her time to. I for example was ten, when I negotiated a contract with her newest ex-husband about splitting furniture and other stuff. She wanted to take high road and leave without anything (at the time she wasn't working and we wouldn't had had absolutely anything, if she would had done that.) For her I was always small-minded nitpicker. When I really became small-minded nitpicker after easy child was born, we weren't able to really talk in two years. She did love me though. She was such a complex woman. She could frustrate me to no end, but I did love her too. I still have hard time seeing myself on her, well, other than that we look the same a lot. Today I have been looking over some of her papers, books she had written comments to paragraphs, some photos, listening records she left me and remembering her. I miss her so much. And thinking of her makes me second guess my choices. I haven't really achieved a lot. I have nice job that has a purpose and meaning, but it isn't anything special and not something I would had put my all in. I have my kids, but after putting all that effort into them, I'm not sure if I can declare them a success. easy child is, but he would be with much less effort. And difficult child, well, maybe he would be worse to wear without all that, but if he will be able to make something out of his life, it will be all on him. I enjoy being their mother, but is that a lot for a life work? Or supporting husband's career? It's not like he would be doing something, that would make a difference to the world. And mom would probably get a brain bleed from a thought I even consider supporting my husband's career as an achievement. Sorry for a long post, just feeling pensive today.