Letters to my Gemini Mothers
Bound as “twins”, only through your connection to me: your son. Biological and step. The similarities end there. Thanking each of you is so different, one may almost wonder why I’m even thanking one at all.
I guess one should start polite.
Thank you for carrying me and giving birth.
Not so much for smoking and drinking while doing so, as I was born quite underweight and small and spent a lot of time in hospital before I even turned two.
Thank you for raising me until I was six, and realise that storytelling is part of your world, but does not need to be part of mine. Your intoxicated stories were mesmerising because you are my mother. Until I realised as a six year old that “loving another man” means you and dad are not going to stay together anymore. The other man seemed quite fitting to your storytelling lifestyle.
Thank you for creating a greater awareness in me of how not to approach many, many things that few other kids my age shouldn’t even have been aware of.
The biggest thank of you all, was allowing me to choose at age nine to move to a more stable house, and meet a new mom.
New and old yes, as you already had kids of your own.
New to me and my siblings with our crazy background, but you and dad just jumped right and made it work. You survived us, me mostly. Taking over was never easy. Still isn’t, even as grownups, but for different reasons. We met each other at different stages of our lives, and had to grow together on fast forward.
Thank you for never giving up. Always being there, despite your own walls and roadblocks that you were hitting at every twist and turn.
Thank you for showing me how being different should be handled, can be good, and will be my new way of life in a healthy way. Saying no was never an issue, in fact, it was taught as something that should be respected.
Saying thank you will never be enough.
Ruane Bester, living in South Africa, is a father to three gorgeous children and loving husband to his wife. Ruane is a psychologist in academia lecturing at UNISA. Interested in hearing more from him – you can find him on twitter at Ruboy6.