If my mother will not go to heaven, I renounce the privilege
But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.
Does your ma know you’re this silly?” she demanded tartly.
He nodded, comically sad. “The few gray hairs she has on her head are my doing. But” – with an exaggerated change of mood – “I send her plenty of money, so she can pay to have them dyed!”
“I hope she beat you as a child,” Onua grumbled.
You will like her,” he persisted. “Egad, she’s after your own heart, maman! She shot me in the arm.”
“Voyons, do you think that is what I like?
In the end, Mothers are always right. No one else tells the truth.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? (Just to give you an idea, Proust’s reply was ‘To be separated from Mama.’) I think that the lowest depth of misery ought to be distinguished from the highest pitch of anguish. In the lower depths come enforced idleness, sexual boredom, and/or impotence. At the highest pitch, the death of a friend or even the fear of the death of a child.
In truth, it was also by design: as much as I loved my mother, she wasn’t often the person I sought for comfort in hard times. She disapproved tacitly of crying.
But Moominmamma was quite unperturbed.
“Well, well!” she said, “it seems to me that our guests are having a very good time.”
“I hope so,” replied Moominpappa. “Pass me a banana, please dear.
I always wondered why God was supposed to be a father,” she whispers. Fathers always want you to measure up to something. Mothers are the ones who love you unconditionally, don’t you think?
No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you’d had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her.