My Mother Dancing

When someone I love dies the years seem to pick up speed. They fly by. My mother Leona was 68 when she died nine years ago yesterday. It doesn’t feel that long ago. She was and always will be one of the greatest discoveries in life for me. She had to give me up for adoption when I was a baby. We had my first seven days together and that was it. She was only 20 when she handed her son over and returned home utterly destroyed. This is not the missive to explain all this, or how I know all this other than to say we left nothing about the subject and circumstances of my adoption untouched by conversation.

We were reunited on January 8, 1987, a moment in both our lives so filled with emotion for the both of us I’m surprised we didn’t burst. But then again, we were cut from the same cloth. To be more precise, I am cut from hers. She had the ability to not only allow moments of enormous amounts of emotion, she welcomed them.

She also loved to dance, and dancing contains worlds of emotion. She may have suspected that, like her, I found it and still find it impossible to remain physically still when music is on. To this day I find myself utterly baffled by people who can sit still while music with, say, Latin rhythm is on. I always want to tap them on the shoulder and ask, Don’t you feel that? However, she certainly had no idea I’d danced professionally and when I was a little boy my family would play music just so I could keep dancing, I couldn’t get enough.

The evening my mother and I reunited and found each others arms again we went to her home, after first going out for coffee. There my “new” sister, Sunday, said, “If you’re in this family you better love to dance.” My friend Dane was with me. Dane looked at me and said, “You want me to tell them.” And so he told them about my days dancing with the Joffrey Ballet and dancing pretty much every time I ran into music.

On October 2, 1987, the first birthday we had together since the day I was born, my mother and I went out to dinner, and then we went to a club and danced all night. She was a great dancer, the greatest dance partner I’ve ever had.

I love you, Mom, miss you terribly, and I’m still dancing.

One thought on “My Mother Dancing

  1. Dancing is a lovely way to express oneself. It is not as easy for people who who have learned through their upbringing that expressing themself in any way can be dangerous. I have spent most of my life trying not to do so as the consequences have never been positive. Verbalcommunication given,opinions of any kind, when you are shut down, is often quite upsetting. When you are growing up with parents who basically let you know that you input is not important, then it is devasting. So you learn to survive by staying quiet, out of the limelight, because not being the center of attention helps you to survive. You shy away from others and keep to yourself because you know that that it the only way to keep yourself from getting hurt. And it works. As you become older, you try to change the mold and can with some success. You never though want a lot of attention because you are never sure what the outcome will be. Therefore you never learn to dance, but you do always feel it.I know because you feel it in your soul and though it appears that you don't feel it you feel it more strongly than you can imagine. You revel in others abilitiy to express and sometimes that is good enough for you


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