So I find myself at 2:45am sitting out in my living room...talking to my mom. I remember when I was younger, and at any time during the night, I could call my mom and just talk. It was usually about something that had upset, or of course, a boy, but I always knew that I could call her. Then came the internet...there was a time when my mom would be on the computer, constantly downloading music. Yep...MY mom...downloading music, and I would call her and she would play me all these different songs she was downloading.
My mom and I would fight, hell, even one time she hung up on me, I admit, I was being bitchy...so she hung up on me. Of course that pissed me off...so I kept calling her back. She would answer, I would yell "Dont hang up on me!"...then she would hang up on me without a word. Those were my teenage years.
My mom and dad got divorced when I was 12. My mom...well left. She didn't take anything, but her clothes and her car, she took nothing else, not me, not my brother. Sure...we were given a choice of who to live with, we both chose our dad, but for different reasons. My brother, simply because life was easier with my dad, and well me...I was mad. She left us. So, I stayed with my dad. I have always been a daddy's girl, but that moment cemented it, and many times over the years I have credited my dad with my upbringing. I have never been arrested, never done drugs, have worked since I was 16 years old, found a great guy, got married THEN had a baby. I turned out all right..and I have always credited my dad. Right after the divorce, my father forced me to my mom's house every weekend. I hated it. She was living with a man who was a friend of hers, and I really wanted to hate him. He had 4 sons, and my mom lived with them. From the moment I first went there on weekends, to this very day 25 years later, that man STILL treats me like his daughter. To me, that man is my step father, and those boys are my step brothers...so I have to thank my mother for that.
As my teen years passed, my mother and I grew closer again. The trust was back, but I was soon find out, it didn't last long. I found out that my mother had been married not once before my dad, but TWICE, and I had an older sister. Welcome to my WTF moment. I had always wanted a sister, and now, I had one. With the welcome news of my sister, came the trust that I had built with my mother crashing back down. That moment changed my life, and my relationship with my mother forever. I dont know what she was thinking back when she abandoned my sister...I have no idea. My mother NEVER talked about her past. She would tell me bits and pieces, but I have never met her side of the family. I want to make this clear, I love my sister. She is my flesh and blood. This story is about my relationship with my mom. I dont know if it was hatred I felt, betrayal, or disappoinment. It could have been a little of all of them. I still have those feelings...and I know I need to let them go...especially now.
So...I find out about my sister..and I am overjoyed. I go and meet her..she is awesome. I have 2 nieces...again...awesome. Then in 2004, tragedy strikes just as my life is changing...again. I meet the love of my life...and also get a phone call from my step dad that there is something wrong with my mom, but we dont know what. She seems to not know anyone, or believe that anything is real. My step dad thinks I can help, that i can help pull her out of it. I call her...she tells me she doesnt know who I am..that she doesn't have a daughter. More anger. More sadnesses. Mostly because what if I dont have the chance now to tell my mom I love her, what if she never remembers? Instead of me flying back to help, my brother took charge. My step dad and mom were never legally married, so medical decisions fell into our hands. We tried to get her checked out...but she refused to go to the doctors. So we had to force her. They found nothing wrong. But something was wrong. Sure..she remembered things now...but she just wasnt the same. She wouldn't leave the house. She missed my wedding...MY WEDDING!!!! Was I mad? Sure...but...I also understood. So the guilt started...how could I be mad...when I knew she wasn't herself. Then came avoidance. I didn't know what to say anymore...something could trigger her. We tried to keep anything bad from her...cause we were afraid of what would happen..would it be another psychotic break?
In the year 2008 again...the worst year of my life...and always the best year. In January 2008, I almost died. I had an untreated ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured and had almost killed me. I almost died...and I couldn't call my mother to tell her, to talk to her. Was I sad? Of course...but I understood why. Again..the guilt continued...I couldn't be the one who could possibly cause my mother anguish. The calls to my mom were shorter and shorter, and less frequent, simply because, I was afraid I would slip and say something I shouldn't. The calls were uncomfortable now. The person who at one time I could call and talk to about anything, was now gone. Two months after I almost died, we found out we were pregnant again. This was news I could share with my mom :-) But...I couldn't share my fears about it, and i was terrified. I wanted to be able to talk to my mom. Now sure, my father had remarried a wonderful woman who has always treated me as a daughter, and with that married I gained 3 stepsisters. With MY married I gained a Mother in law...but still, there is nothing like being able to talk to MY mom. When I went in to give birth to my son...I was so scared, and I called and let my mom know it was time. She cried. I wanted so bad for my mother to be there...to help me in the early days...but, she wasn't. Was I sad? Of course...but I undertood. The guilt dug deeper...I would send pictures of my son...and show him pictures of her so he knew who is Grandma was when he met her.
So...since my parents divorce when I was 12 until now, I went from being the youngest of 2 kids...to the middle of the pack of 10 collectively. I now have a big family...and I love it. But I miss my mom. She still had not met my son. Then it happened: June 26,2009, my brother calls me at 7:30am and tells me that our mother has passed away. My husband was at work...it was just me and my 6 month old son. I looked at him..and started crying. My mom was gone. No more phone calls, no more long talks...and my mom would never meet my son, her only grandson. She would never hold him. She would never see me as a mom. My brother, my husband, my son and I made the long drive to lay her to rest. I considered not bringing my son...but decided that maybe my step dad and step brothers, well, I wanted them to meet him. He brought joy to their faces in a time when we needed it. When my brother and i were at the funeral home, to see her, I went in and saw her alone. She looked so peaceful..her long blond hair. She was no longer in pain, no longer hiding from her demons. I hesitated...but then went and touched her silky hair and knew what I had to do. I went back out to the room...got my son, and took him in to meet his Grandmother. I know her spirit was there, as my son looked up to the sky and smiled. He had met his Grandma, and she had met him. I told her that day that I forgave her and i meant it, but the guilt lingered on. For about 8 months after that night, we could hear our son giggling in his bedroom at night, and we like to think my mom was there, watching over him. We think she left now, because our son will not sleep in his own room. He HAS to be near us.
So I sit here, now 3:15am with tears streaming down my face, looking up at her American Flag for her service to our great country, and looking at her urn, and remembering her. The good times, and the bad times. Tonight is one of those nights where I would have liked to have called my mom...my mom from 15 years ago...and talk to her. Talk to her about my fears, my life, my husband, my son...my worries.
I talked about how I credit my dad with how well I turned out, but I have to give my mom credit for the early years, before the divorce. I find myself raising my son with the same values and beliefs that my mother and father instilled in me. My mother was a stay at home mom, she taught me to read at 4 and do math at 5. She was strict, but kind. She loved me and I loved her. But the guilt still lingers in me and I dont know how to let it go. One day, I hope I can learn to let it go before it eats me up inside.