I should probably preface this by saying that I am not really certain anymore what the parameters are for sharing too much. Currently we are in the midst of having our entire sewer line replaced. It’s shitty business…literally. But I’m not even talking about that. I wish it were just that simple (simple! oh my lordy, it’s certainly NOT simple…) No. I just wanted to tell you about how I’m going to visit my mom next weekend. I haven’t seen her in 5 years and I suppose it just seems like the right time. That, or, hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of therapy are telling me it’s the right time. I’m not sure about that, really, either.
It will be hard for most people to understand not seeing their mom in that long. At least I hope it’s hard. It’s certainly not normal. It’s even hard for me to fathom…and it’s my situation. Things just got weird. My mom is in bad health. She wasn’t very nice to me for a long time. It just wasn’t a priority. And after all of that, it still seems like it shouldn’t be a priority…but alas, it is. I have decided that I need to tell my mother that I forgive her. I forgive her for lying to me. For taking off when I really, really needed a mom. I forgive her for treating me like an acquaintance, even though she gave birth to me. I just forgive her. Plain and simple and complicated and painful.
I’m still trying to convince myself that I DO forgive her for all of those things and more. In fact, this trip is mostly going to be one big giant turd. The only good thing about it is that I have an amazing person traveling with me. A person who will no doubt get an ear full of my bitching and my crying. A person who understands that this is an important part of my moving on.
I have learned over the years – and even more so over the past few weeks and months – that though you don’t pick your family, you can pick people who surround you with love. I have been lucky enough in my life to pick people who are funny and caring and who encourage me every day to be a better person. Many of those people have moved away from me physically – but I still find ways for them to be an integral part of my life. I even met more of my own real family this year – family I knew about but had never met in person. I have been baffled ever since about genetics – how people who know nothing about each other could be so similar.
I don’t know so much about that old saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I’m still working on that. I like to think that I fell from the tree and continued to roll a long distance from it. I like to think that the person who birthed me doesn’t get to define me. I am making this trip partly out of obligation, partly out of curiosity, and partly out of a need to get a whole lifetime of stuff off my chest. I’m not certain that I will find any sort of peace. I may regret the trip…I just don’t know. I’m scared and I’m anxious, and mostly I’m sad that it’s come to this.
Tonight at dinner, we were talking with the girls about what they might want to do when they grow up. Zoe assured me that I could come visit her cats and her many children. Lucy, ever so matter of fact, told me she was “NEVER getting married.” but that I could still come visit. I don’t know what my children will do in the next 10-20 years, but I do hope that they never have to think about visiting their mom after being estranged for so long. I hope that the connections I believe I make with them every single day will be enough to ensure that. I hope, for their sake, that they never have to have an internal dialog that includes the words, “I forgive you for sucking at being a mom.” I’m trying. I really am. But I think this is going to stink nonetheless.