My mother Maria was born in Tallinn, Estonia, in 1920. She left us on Nov.1st, 2001. She will be a dancer in her next life. That's what she wanted to be. And I hope she will be happier than in this life. She lost two sons at an early age in 1945. Her 3rd child was a dissappointment, female and crazy (me). Maria was full of temperament in moments she escaped her traumatic depression. Then she would play swing hits of the thirties on our piano, a cigarette between her lips, her head bent slightly backwards, as smoking piano-players do. She was a widow when I took the second picture, but ready to go for another adventure, a relationship with a prominent man from the Bavarian culture scene. After his death, she lived in my brother's house near Hamburg.
It was not until her last years that I understood her love which was hidden behind criticism. Her "hello" was: "oh, you put on weight again." I, nevertheless, told her a story: I was about 6 or 7 years old and had a high fever. From my bed, I could see my desk which was covered with a bright red table cover. I loved this plastic cover, it allowed me to do wild watercolor experiments without messing up the place. Now, the red was unbearable. I asked my mother to take it out of sight, and she, without a word, removed it. 45 years later I thanked her for being so understanding.
At that time she showed signs that her life energy was going down fast. I realized that she would be going soon, and it choked me.
We never stopped missing her.