It’s been a few years now since my mother has passed, and honestly? Although I do think of her often, I’ve not had the ache in my heart like that that I’ve been carrying around these past few weeks. It seems as though it has become even more pronounced just recently.
I just want one more conversation. I miss our conversations. It is hard enough to live alone, but I guess it has been emphasized with the feeling, or realization, that my family seems so foreign to me (or I to them). There really is quite a large difference between us; not just in years, but in the way we think.
I’ve always been the digger, the ‘bone collector’, the ‘archaeologist’ if you will. Always in search of the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of any situation. I figure it’s the best way to get past something that’s gnawing at you and it’s the best way to grow from a situation. Now my siblings are a bit different.
I’ve got the eldest who kind of wallows and insists on mourning over what didn’t happen. For instance, our mother wasn’t at all of her events, that still gnaws at her. Mom wasn’t the kind of woman who gushed with the ‘I love you’s’ (remember my blog about Friends coming and going…) so she tends to continue the ‘mourning’ about that. Our mother may not have been that way in the beginning, but had it ever occurred to my sister to say ‘I love you’ to her? Actually it hadn’t to me either until my friend practically harped on me until I did it (I was terrified, but I did it) and you know something? Changed our lives (mine anyway, I don’t have to carry that regret…).
My other sister is an interesting one. She says she’s happy and I believe her. But then again, she blames our father for dying. “If he had taken better care of himself…”, blah, blah, blah. She blames our mother for her dementia as well for the same reason. Now, I realize that this must sound just hateful to many of you; so let me restate something. My siblings (ALL of them) are wonderful people and truly would give anyone the shirts off their backs. I’m merely pointing out some variances in our thinking.
Now back to my other sister (sister #2), though she insists she’s very happy; she sure has a lot of blame for people that have been dead all these years. Wouldn’t you want to deal with that and grow from it? She’s also a bit of a ‘princess’, to which I mean; she won’t give up any of her comforts (none); as an example she won’t share her room, won’t give over her bed to anyone. Doesn’t sound bad? Well, picture this: our mother stays at her home, there’s no spare bed; so mom sleeps on the couch. On the contrary, mom stays in my apartment and I, without even a thought, give her my bed while I sleep on the couch.
Now does this make my sister #2 bad? No, not necessarily, it is who she is. I’m just showing the difference. She is fairly oblivious and wouldn’t necessarily be my top pick to nurse me should I fall ill (but that’s possibly a topic for another post). She’s just very used to living alone, traveling alone and says that she likes things the way she likes them and that is that. Ok then.
My brother used to be an observer and a ‘delver’, or so I thought. But it could be that I looked up to him so much that I was blinded (not sure). But through the years, I’ve discovered that he really wants nothing to do with dealing with any of the pain of his childhood or young adulthood. Now if any of you have read my posts, you know, there is quite a bit to deal with. Hence, his addiction (much easier to self medicate). I must note that he is clean and sober, an accomplishment that I’m extremely proud of him for doing for himself. But as such, he has become very self absorbed. When we talk, much of our discussions are concentrated on him. This seems fairly typical behavior for addicts, (I was married to one remember?) addicts who haven’t completed and grown threw the 12 steps. Ah yes, the 12 steps; you would have to go full circle (but you need to dig first, don’t you?).
Again, I love all of my siblings more than you know. But I can’t talk to them; not like I could to my mother. Mom and I really didn’t get along until I moved out. Actually it wasn’t until we worked together. She got me a job where she was working while I was in college (I was 18 at the time). I think this was when she and I grew closer and closer.
It got to be that she would call me weekly to chat. My sisters did not understand this. “She doesn’t call us” they would say. I tried to keep moms calls on the QT for fear of hurt feelings or accusations of ‘favorite’. But then again, I did reach out. Mom and I had our issues when I was younger and I did talk with her about each and every one; so I guess you can say we had closure.
She used to tell me that she enjoyed staying at my husband’s and my home mostly because she didn’t feel she had to put on ‘airs’ for anyone and she was comfortable to be herself. She felt she was at her home away from home as she and I would stay up to all hours and solve the worlds problems. Anytime something would happen in my life, it was home I would go. Not mine (as in my ‘adult’ home), but hers (as in my childhood home). I always ran home to talk with her about whatever it was. I knew life would be better with some of her cooking and coffee and of course our discussions.
I miss her so much. I know that if I had told her my ‘ah ha!’ moment about my dads death (From the Mouths) she would have understood and continued to tell me how much they wanted me and how excited he was. We would have discussed that for a couple of hours. Discussing how much children pick up on and so forth. But she would have understood.
No matter what, I won’t say that ‘I didn’t know what I had until it was gone’, because I thanked God every moment. Even towards the end when her mind was going, I was grateful for those moments (and they were moments, more like seconds) when it might just have been the eye contact we made while singing a hymn or when I hand fed her her dinner and I could tell she was in there. Or those moments when she would ask that painful question, “how long have I been out of it this time?” And we might have had a conversation for a couple of minutes or a little longer.
No question, I miss her. My wish for my siblings is that they dig deep and come to terms with the fact that our mother did the best she could (and I think/know deep down they know this). And that they do their own inventory and come to terms with their own demons (whatever those may be).
We all have issues to come to terms with and it’s healthy to be depressed or angry over situations from our past. What’s not healthy is to continue to blame and be angry/depressed over those same situations, for the only person it hurts is us.
If I try to tell them any of this, I’m accused of not understanding and thinking they are the ‘evil sisters’. So, I blog, I write and I miss my mom. She would understand and even if she didn’t, she would have listened with an open heart, no matter what.