November 30, 2006
My Mother Died.
I was changing planes, and she died. I didn’t make it. She Died.
My Mother Died. I tried to get there on time. I changed my flight. I was told there was time.
I tried. She Died.
My Mother Died, I was not there. I was not there to say good bye. I was not there to tell her, to tell her, all that there was to say.
My Mother Died. I was not there to tell her, that she was a good mother. I’m not sure I really feel that, but I’m sure I should have told her that, and I didn’t.
My mother died. I loved my mother. Did she know?
My Mother Died. I should have been there. Why didn’t she wait for me? She knew I was coming. She didn’t wait! I tried.
My Mother Died. In Cape Cod. Without me. She always said the sun went “Bloop” as it slipped down from the horizon. She loved the bloop. She didn’t wait for me. She left me.
My mother died and my husband’s in London, not answering his damned phone. I begged him not to go. He left anyway.
She didn’t wait, she didn’t wait for me, she left me.
I called my mother. “Hi Mommy”
“Hello sweet girl, where are you?”
“I’m in Atlanta, changing planes.” I cried. “I didn’t make it. Mom died.”
Living in beautiful Healdsburg, California, in the heart of Sonoma County, we enjoy a very healthy farm to table lifestyle. My family often gives me “cooking challenges,” which offer me a country or region, and the better part of the day to create a menu, procure the food, prepare the spices as authentically as possible, and serve it up. Summer is easy as our garden and orchard offer a pluthera of choices, but in these rainy winter months, I rely on our local farmers and ranchers to supply organic and sustainable food.
I hope you’ll join in these challenges, and enjoy the creations!
Haunted by the cries of countless abandoned babies, I must choose, to take one home, or go to great expense, and emotional risk, to try once again to create our own. In 2000, while working with abandoned children in Serbia, and facing my own infertility as an adopted person, I, (personified by my conflicted character Jennifer), wrestle with choices around creating a family with my pragmatic husband Aaron.
We travel back to 1963 New York and find Sarah. A people pleasing social worker with an oft grouchy husband who is flummoxed by her timidity and neediness. Even more horrified by his mother’s predictable reaction to their plight, he acquiesces, out of duty. And then there’s Isabelle, a young woman, trying to appease her manipulative mother at their family theater camp, while sneaking around with the beguiling music director. Both women facing dilemmas that will change their lives, while discovering their parents deeply guarded secrets.
WOVEN BRANCHES, an exploration of three families, wrestling with choices around obtaining, having and raising children. Diving into the back stories of three generations of Jewish women, we learn the tales of survival, that inform, inspire and stifle them.
I was born as a problem. A shameful situation that had to be dealt with. I was an embarrassment to my family, one that was hidden away, even before I saw my first glimpse of the world. I had committed the unthinkable crime of being conceived. And, my mother wasn’t married. She wanted desperately to keep me, but society had rules that she couldn’t conquer, and they were firmly upheld by her parents. It simply wasn’t done. She tried, for five months, while I waited in a foster home. But in the end, society won.
My mother was told, over and over, that she would move on, have other children, that she would forget about me. She never did. Every year on my birthday she wrote to the adoption agency to be sure they had her current contact information. She wanted to be found. And I did find her, nineteen years later. Thirty-three years ago, we reunited, and have been in each other’s lives and families ever since.