Where is Violet?
The final story in the best of episode of The Lapse brings the voice of a young woman whose quest it is to find her mother. Her last memories of her mother are the kisses that she received on her cheeks as Violet dropped her off at neighbors. Looking back it was the earnestness of her kisses and hugs, and in particular, those that Violet bestowed upon her baby sister, that prompts her to reflect that Violet knew in those moments that this was the last time she would see her daughters.
Later we learn that someone witnessed a person in a black leather jacket plunge over Niagara Falls and the event is deemed a suicide. Violet wore a black leather jacket, the two are connected including her vehicle close to the falls. The dots are connected.
The daughters move on with their lives.
Twenty two years later, Felisha Martin is still looking for her mother Violet. She has learned from various sources, that this disappearance was likely not a suicide. That it was instead a planned escape into a new reality. Her voice conveys a forgiveness and concern for her; an overwhelmed young mother with two children by age 23. What Felisha later learns is that her mother may have been mixed up in some very bad stuff, including prostitution and drug dealing. She likely wanted to push the restart button. Reboot. Start over.
I listen to this young woman who has such a brave and yet remarkably light voice. She clearly learned to be a grown up very early on. Now, she seeks answers, mostly because she just wants to know. She talks of confronting her mother’s family a while back because they protected her and her sister from her mother’s truths. Felisha tells them they don’t need to protect her, that she wants to know the truth so she can move on.
At one point, someone in her circle saw Violet in a casino and came face to face with her. The woman claimed a different name and rushed out, but this person says she knows it was her. There are certain mannerisms that suggest that there was a 99.95 % chance that the woman in the casino was Violet. Someone else comes forward having known Violet as a child. This woman who had encountered Violet suggests that she was a truly lovely person and that she was quite fond of her.
Another circumstance reveals yet another encounter episode with Violet. This time another young woman remembers Violet walking her to a party. At the time, this young woman was a little girl and she carried great affection for Violet. This little girl presented Violet with a pair inexpensive seashell earrings and she noticed that Violet was already wearing these beautiful gold earrings, likely quite a bit more expensive than the seashells. Violet immediately took off the gold earrings and replaced them with the seashell earrings. She then kneeled down and hugged the little girl and told her how she loved them. She wore them the whole evening. There was tenderness in those actions.
I wonder about Violet, her love for her daughters, her knowledge of being stuck in a no-win lifestyle full of violence and perversion. Her worry at exposing her daughters and keeping her daughters in a bad situation that was perhaps only continuing to get worse. Did she leave to save her daughters? Did she leave to save herself? Was she coerced? Did she continue on the path of destruction or did she clean up her life? Is she alive? Felisha wants answers to these questions and so much more. She wants to know she is safe, that she is ok. She perhaps wants to know her better. She wants to understand what happened and put into perspective how she is to live herself.
When life ends up a bucket of mistakes, how often do people hit the reset button? And in that reset, are the mistakes completely wiped away? Or do they linger on and filter into the new life? Did resetting help Violet? Or, did she repeat the disaster in another reality with other players and other messes?
Habits and tendencies: do these not follow us around no matter where we end up? You can divorce that person for being insensitive or abusive. Will you simply repeat the disaster with someone else? Our human makeup, can it be changed? Can we get out of ourselves and improve so that the cycle does not repeat itself? And if so, how do we do that?
I wonder if Violet still doesn’t want to be found. If she is afraid of coming face to face with her past mistakes, that is- her own mistakes of not treasuring her gifts in her daughters, of the hope and joy and promise they presented her. Of not seeing at such a young age what a incredible miracle they were. There is a website where Felisha is gathering data on her mother… MissingViolet(dot)com.