About my mother ...
This may seem a bit weird. I have a very strong memory of before I was born. In fact, I remember choosing my mother.
The memory starts with me hanging out in this measureless, gray void. No up. No down. No left. No right. Just "out there". I had no sense of having a body, no sense of being in a "place", and no sense of time. But I could see, and it was all gray. And I was content.
Then a presence came up alongside me on my left, not too close. A woman. I could see her head, arms, and torso, but her legs and feet were not visible and she seem to be floating along head first with her body trailing behind her wrapped in a flowing garment that seemed to ruffle as she silently glided past me. And as she passed by, she said, "Come along. It's time to choose your mother."
"Again?" I thought. Or maybe I said that.
"Yes," she said. "And if you don't want this one, we're going to choose one for you."
Well, alright, I thought. But she better be a nice one.
And of course, like any "child", which I seemed to be compared to this lady who was leading me through the "empty" space, at one point I asked something like, "Where is she?" which might be the equivalent of, "Are we there yet?"
The lady stopped and turned to look at me. "Look down," she said.
Down? That seemed strange. Where is "down", I thought? The lady pointed. I looked. Then like some kind of magic the gray fog began to open up in a circular fashion and I was looking down on a woman sitting on a grassy knoll under a large tree. She had long, brown hair. Her legs were folded up alongside her on her left and her skirt was spread out all around. Her short sleeved blouse was puffy around the shoulders and exposed only a small portion of her neck front and back. Her hands were in her lap. She seemed to be in very deep thought.
Well, she seemed nice enough, I thought. But what would life be like with her and what would my father be like? I didn't want another father like the last one, I thought. I then imagined a future of myself. I saw myself as an eight year old walking about by myself. I sensed that I was free and happy. I did not sense an overbearing father. In fact, my father was not even as prominent a figure in my life as my mother was. That was good, I thought. So, yes, this woman can be my mother.
And the memory ends there.
Since the time I first recalled this memory, which was somewhere in my pre-teen years, some detail of the memory has faded. At around 17 years of age I finally got around to telling my mother about this. When I was done, she was visibly excited and smiling. Then she told me about a time when she and her husband, my father, were traveling from Arkansas to California with the hobos and tramps, something they had done more than once, and that in itself makes another very interesting story.
They stopped one night at a hobo campsite in a wooded area. The next morning when she woke up, she sensed that something was different about her body. She sensed that she was pregnant. And this pregnancy felt different than the previous two if only in the fact that she sensed it the morning after copulation. She silently walked away from the camp area and came to rest under a tree on a grassy knoll, and there she contemplated the new life now in her womb. She then told me that the dress and blouse she was wearing matched the description of what I described in my memory. She also told me that that moment felt so very precious to her that she had never forgotten it, and never told anyone about it.
As for how things turned out? My mother kicked my biological father out of the house the day she brought me home from the hospital. She said he was an abusive alcoholic and didn't want me to experience the trauma that my older brother had been going through. Soon after that, she met another man who would become my "father" when I was two years old. He was the only man I knew as my father, so to me he was "Daddy". And he was also more or less in the background throughout my life. He never gave me advice. He never tried to mold me in any way. That was my mother's job.
I had one other experience of being in a gray void. Read about it here.