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Beating the same old drum

September 1, 2007

Most days roll along from one to the next. It is morning and small blond people need breakfast, to get to school, to put some underwear and pants on for christs sakes. I go to school and D goes thrift storing, fixes our beater truck and shops for food. Spawn sits in his newly acquired school under a way stricter discipline than I am use to but it might be good for him. Chica winges on about her soooolll and when it is time for her to doe? Kisses. Hugs. Out right refusals to put on pants. Crickets and moths are rescued and I am here.

There is so much going on in my life this week and for the next 15 weeks and I want my mother in that pre-adolescent way that requires the constant presence and approval but also for her to leave me alone. Well, I have got one part nailed down. She is always leaving me alone because she is dead.

I crave her advice while I know that I wouldn’t take any of it. I want to know that she approves. That someone approves of what I am doing as a parent. I want to know that she thinks I am terrific but then want to pretend that I don’t care and move about subconsciously unaware that by seeking her approval I am validating my own choices.

There is this constant wall that I bump into and feel like a battered wife sometimes with a permanent bruise on my lip and forehead. Pretending that it is not there, this constant threat against my self. An unimaginable legacy that did not play out so I have no idea how it would have ended. Only that it ended and like watching a movie that someone has spoiled the ending you sit there unsatisfied and slightly annoyed because you already know what happens.

When your mother dies while you are young or while they are young you know what others are in store for as they age. While it will always be hard to loose a parent I think loosing a parent while you are still forming your own identity and carving out a life of your own is particularly weird and terrible. I don’t know how it will feel when my friends loose their parents when they are in their 60’s and their parents in their 80’s…like most people now a days. They will be married for 20 years or more by then. Their children will be grown up and making lives for themselves. They will be who they are and while they might ask all the same questions it won’t be applicable in the same way.

There is something full circle about getting married, having children, going to work/school, making dinner, vacuuming the rug, fighting, laughing and talking about your life as it unfolds with your parent. I do talk to her all the time but I feel kind of stupid and it feels pointless. She must be pissed that she is missing this. She would delight in how Chica-Poo tortures me and would kiss her all the time. She would admire Spawn and remember how she always wanted a boy to love her and be hers forever instead of getting a girl who would push away, fly away and roost somewhere else.

I wonder how differently I would do things if my mother were still around. Would I have breastfed for so long? Would I have co-slept? Would I have left my baby when they were tiny to go out with D if she had been around? Would I have started the process to go to nursing school? Would medicine even interest me? Would we fight about the things that she did when she was a parent to me? Would I be more angry that she did so many things I would never dream of doing because mostly it just makes me sad for her.

I would have and do feel more protective about how her family treated her. They never approved of her divorced and wild lifestyle. I never saw my grandparents point of view before I became a parent but I do now. She smoked pot. She drank and partied. She held down a respectable job. She needed them because she was single. Her second divorce. Then her third divorce. They didn’t approve. They loved her but didn’t approve of her in many ways. I remember her smoking pot and getting high right before going to their house for our weekly dinner. She looked so upset. She was not happy. I remember feeling so scared my grandparents would find out that she was high although I don’t remember knowing why that was bad. I was little, maybe 7 or 8?

So I am here beating out a signal, a tune, a song, a poem, a request. Like an S.O.S. but expecting no reply. Pointless and silly but I am doing it anyway.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2007 8:19 pm

    Hey- Not pointless and silly!

    My mother is alive… And

    I can feel your loss and loneliness through your words- abandonment, too.

  2. September 1, 2007 8:49 pm

    I think losing a parent when you are young is much worse and way different from losing a parent when you are older and parents are old and you have been expecting it and have had lots of time to mull over mortality issues and sorted out all your conflicts with your parents. My own mother lost her mother when she was sixteen and, OK, she also had other Holocaust traumas but I think it was the death of her mother that she never got over the most. I always could feel that emptiness in her and I always wished I could give her the mothering she so craved. I’m the oldest and became a therapist, though. I don’t think my younger siblings had that same sense of my mother. I also missed never having a grandmother, but for complicated reasons my mother and I became estranged when I married and so has had very little involvement with my children and my mothering and I often feel waves of sadness missing her mothering even though she is still alive, though I never see her. I’m wondering how old you were when your mother died.

  3. caroline permalink
    September 2, 2007 1:24 am

    Yeah. I’ve lived over half my life without my mom by now. Shocking to me. Wow. Was I ever so lucky to have a mom?
    She is distant and so long ago but my heart fires up in a way when I think/dream about her that burns away everything. Thanks for writing so beautifully about your mom, sister.

  4. September 2, 2007 3:36 am

    I dreamed of my mother last night. We were in the car, driving down the road, and I remember thinking, “I have to appreciate every second of this, because very soon it will be gone.” And then it was.

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