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A Tale of Two Moms

I wasn’t very happy in my first marriage and there were other problems going on as well, so in 1994 I decided to turn my entire life around. For awhile mom had been eager to return to her homeland. She was born in Riga, Latvia in 1911 and during WWII had to flee her country. Now she was already 82 and I figured since we could settle down in Latvia this was the time to do it because mom wasn’t getting any younger. The top photo is of my mom.

We arrived there at the end of January 1994 and I first discovered that I wasn’t happy about the bitter cold and the snow. However, later on, it turned out that the same snowy situation was occurring in New York too. Unfortunately, I hadn’t foreseen the fact that mom was thinking she was returning to the Riga she had left. The city had changed entirely and she discovered she had a real fear of Russians. Well, not Russian people actually, but Soviets. Now being so close and reading the newspapers here she would often tell me they were probably going to occupy the country again.

I wondered what I should do because you don’t move across an entire ocean and then just pack up and move back. Mom also got sclerosis in her head and she started really forgetting things which scared me to no end. Here I thought I was leaving a great many problems behind in my country and then gathered up new problems in mom’s homeland. Then I met my soul mate Martin and had other things to think about.

As it was my mom only had two years to live in Riga. Sadly she not only had sclerosis but she died of kidney malfunction. There is a name for it but I forgot it. Anyway, the reason for this post is that March begins for me with my birthday on the 1st and after that thing went downhill. Mom died at the age of 84 on March 24, 1996. I remember that very snowy day in a country cemetery in Ranka, Latvia since she was being laid to rest with the love of her life my dad.

Now I was an orphan and I’ll tell you I was glad I was already a grown-up. I missed mom so much and there were times when I would rush home thinking it will be alright let me just talk to mom. Who are you going to talk to dummy? I would say to myself because mom was not there. With Martin there, it was a lot easier of course. His mom now became like a second mom to me which was good. However, it was hard to get used to her because she was a woman who had lived differently in the Soviet system but had managed to raise two small boys Martin and his brother Arnis (who passed away in 2010). When I met her Martin’s dad Valdis had also passed on and she was glad that we lived just around the corner.

Martin’s mom Mime

Her name was Anna but everyone called her Mime. This had become the nickname her grandchildren called her by. We adjusted to one another as Martin was still in an unhappy marriage and even though she would have liked to see him stay with his wife because of his son and daughter she understood. We became very close through the years we had together. Then in December of 2002, we found out that Mime had cancer on the pleura of the membrane of the lungs. After that things went downhill very fast and she passed away on March 20, 2003. Now we were both orphans and both our moms had died in March just different dates and different years. This only brought us closer together.


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