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My mother was a very special person. Since I can think she suffered from epilepsy and had to wash and clean. This often led to conflicts when I was a teenager. How do you explain to someone that when you come home from school you can’t go to the toilet because your mother has already cleaned and nobody is allowed in the bathroom before she takes a shower?

I had already published an article about her, but it didn’t do her justice. My mother had her problems before I was born, but they were not always so pronounced. She went to the USA when she was 18, got married there, divorced 2 years later and trained as a foreign language correspondent. Then she met my father and 3 years later I was there. There was always a certain distance between us. Only when doctors diagnosed her with autism years later did I realize why she was the way she was. A fixed daily routine and order were important to her. Her closet (an old living room closet of my grandparents from the 60s) was her sanctuary and nobody was allowed into her room without her permission. She collected nail polish and cosmetics and her supply of cleaning products was enough for one year in a normal household. She retired after the separation from my father and almost only contacted me and my grandmother. The relationship with her mother was always dominated by conflicts.

Years later, when I was already an adult and no longer lived in Mainz, our relationship relaxed. We talked on the phone every day and she always had an open ear. I miss our phone calls. In general I miss all her quirks. We had no last real conversation. The last time we spoke was a normal conversation in the evening. Besides time would have thought probably none of us that it is the last time. In the months after her death I heard songs of Genesis all the time on the radio or elsewhere. That was her music which she always heard while cleaning when I was still living with her. Then there were bands like Santana and Chicago. Her favorite color was purple and she liked to eat bee stings. Which was funny because she also had a phobia of wasps and bees. In summer there was always a king role in the freezer. To go to the city at the beginning of the month was a highlight for her and you got in her way.

I had to become early independent and often I missed to have no mother on whom one can rely. But I had my grandmother and also only after her death I noticed that I always had a special role with her. That I was allowed much more and that she did not have some problems with me. I hope that she found the freedom she always wanted and that she found peace. I have never been a believer but I hope that there is a place like heaven. Because the thought of watching her again one day kept me going after her death. She was 63 years old and even if it is normal for her parents to die in front of her, we were taken many years on earth.

The name Monika comes from the Greek and means unique. That was her, Unique.


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