People call me sensitive, and a person who is “wet” as they say in Japanese, meaning a sort of emotional person. But actually I am mostly not; I am as dry as others. When was it that I cried like really, I found myself wondering this morning.

I took my son to kindergarten as usual and did some house chores. When I washed dishes I inspected a small crack in a mug that I got once from my mother. Long time ago when I had just moved to live on my own in Espoo she and my aunt came to visit my new apartment. We went to Arabia ceramic shop in Helsinki as I needed some dishware. She picked a mug with a white rabbit in it from the shelf. The rabbit was playing a computer game. Mother said “it’s just like you, isn’t it”, smiling. And this small treasure became mine.

I had noticed the crack few days ago, but I didn’t make much of it. But today as Kate Bush’s “Among Angels” was playing from my small portable speaker, my eyes just flooded.

I stayed with my grandma my first two years before my adoption. After I met my real biological mother, we did talk a lot and she helped me in many ways, including getting my apartment. But she never the things that a mother does, that role belonged solely to my second adopted mother. So actually I feel strange to call her “mom”.

My second mother is like a woman you read in novels. Never once I heard her complain about others. Shy but stubborn in her own way, she filled home with her presence. When she had time she would knit or read women’s magazines that explain traditional bagel recipes or family care matters. If she was upset or angry she would lock herself into a toilet. She made delicious bagel with cardamom; that smell is something I can never forget.

My mother is in last stage of Alzheimer’s. She lost the ability to speak some years ago and she is bedridden. It breaks my heart that my father also has the same illness. 

I wish I had spent more time with her and ignore those stupid things young people always do, being busy about “following my heart” and all that. But I had young man’s concerns and worries.

There is nothing I can do about the small crack that inevitably gets bigger; it’s a law of nature, a basic thermal dynamics. Nature likes to break things and we humans try to fight it to maintain the state of cohesion, keep the chaos outside the house.

Even if we suffer brain trauma or get dementia, our brain does magnificent job of keeping the childhood memory alive. I am happy to realize this solid foundation of mine.