Lament of a Lost Daughter: Finale

Isabella McCall, Columnist •

Patience was the only way I could mourn my mother properly. But despite being the only salve able to heal the wound, it was the most trying and miserable. Patience meant the ability to spin a life in an amount of time, after such a time the spun life became actuality and the painful emotions could be faded. Laurel was to prove right that statement true for the rest of my life.

I left Alaska one month after that evening with Laurel in the cafe. I finished my summer gutting and skinning salmon and black cod that left my hands to travel through a labyrinth of machinery until it was plopped out of a can, into a pan, into a mouth and into the modern food chain.

My cabin on the shore of the small outlying island was left to the next vagrant, my rented kayak waiting to fill someone else’s Alaskan adventure as they witnessed the humpback whales, otters, and fish breach the surface of the cold, gray bay.

People I encountered throughout my life thought I spent that summer trying to find my adult freedom while basking in the fierce natural geography of Alaska, the only one to guess the true reason had been Laurel. She and I stayed in touch for years until her own natural death. It was the pain of motherhood and daughterhood that bound us. But it was patience that healed us.

My laments for my mother lasted years, on still nights I can hear them in my mind. Without my mother I could no longer claim my identity as a daughter. That summer I had been a lost daughter looking for a small grasp of her mother. Today I stand not as that daughter, but as Laurel stood when I knew her. A lost daughter who became a woman, a woman who was replaced as a mother. With that I continued the cycle.

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