Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Remember for Me

You may have noticed a recent update to the working title of my memoir. As this memoir has progressed and the story has unfolded, “Remember for Me” has emerged as the title that best fits this story. Throughout the writing and editing process, I constantly find myself thinking back to the words my mom spoke to me on a phone call from the Congo in March 2012.

“As I am starting to forget and may not always remember what I say or tell you, I want you to remember for me. Write it down so that you will remember and remind me.”

With this request, my mom was asking me to remember for her in a literal sense. In the past few years her health has become more of a concern. And a recent stroke has sometimes made it difficult for her to remember details of her past.

But in this request, she was also asking me to remember figuratively. To remember not just for her, but also for my grandmother, for all of the people I grew up with, for our small village community, for my nieces and nephews, and to remember a way of life that is connected to the dreams of our ancestors.

Faced with our own mortality, we begin to ask ourselves: how will we be remembered? What is worth remembering? As I write this story, I realize that the true purpose of this story is to remember our mothers. We remember the women they were, the women they became and honor the women, we as their daughters, have become today—our lives intertwined, can never be completely separated.

By remembering where we come from, we are remembering who we are.

Remember for Me!

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