The last couple of days, for no particular reason, I found myself in a foul mood. On the surface, all was going well. In fact, many things seemed to be going my way.
Just little things, such as:
- My car unexpectedly getting killer gas mileage. It was like the never ending tank. I scored over 409 miles on one fill-up. (And she could’ve squeezed out maybe 10 or so more.) I usually get just under 400, but this time, WOW! Nissy was a lean, mean fuel using machine!
- When I did have to fill up I had a 10 cents off per gallon discount I got to cash in on.
- My online shopping snagged me a new necklace I’ve been eyeing for months and 2 sets of the style of earrings I’ve been wanting and imagining for GREAT prices.
- A perfect stranger gave me her 20 percent off coupon at Steinmart last night that I was able to use on 3 pairs of sheet sets that were already a steal at $14.99. (YES! Complete sheet sets of good quality for less than $15 each! I was tickled pink!)
So why was my heart so heavy? And why did I bawl like a baby after I stopped and treated myself to some of my favorite Chinese comfort food? And why could I not stop thinking about my mom?
It finally dawned on me that it was around this time three years ago when my mom went into the hospital for the first time in what was was the beginning of her end. Was it March 18 or 19 that I finally flew out there after my sister threw one of her tantrums?
I’m sure I could look it up in my journal. I know it’s there. But I don’t want to. I’m still not strong enough to go back and remember that awful time.
It’s funny how I can both hate and love my mom. When I moved her out here I was reminded just how hard life with her had been growing up. How much she’d hated me. How sharp her tongue could be. Not to mention how often she’d slice me with it.
And when it came time to “reward” her daughters with her final offerings (as my mom viewed it), she’d given the lion’s share to the one she’d always worried most about: my sister –even though their relationship had almost been more contentious than the one I knew with her.
Story of my life. Here’s an example:
My sister, who was 23 and on her own when my parents divorced (I was 9), stopped talking to my mom for about six months. (Not the first time nor the last, or the longest, that she pulled such a stunt. A tactic usually employed to get her way.)
Anyway, that first Easter my mom and I were shopping. She pointed out this huge stuffed rabbit with a satiny bow around its neck sitting so pretty on a shelf.
“What do you think of that?”
I loved stuffed animals but didn’t have one as big as that in my collection. My mom was going to get it for me? Wow!
“Oh, it’s wonderful.”
“I think so too. But I wonder if your sister will like it. I’m just so upset she’s in one of her moods and won’t have anything to do with me.”
Huh? What the hell did she need a big bunny for? To make matters worse, my mom bought me a smaller bunny as an afterthought.
“Oh, and I suppose you’ll want something too now that you’ve seen me get this for her,” she said grabbing a dinky bunny from a bin near the register.
That’s just one example of a life with my mom. That was actually a pretty tame incident. Usually they involved some sort of violence (basically of the verbal variety, but if I pissed my mom off enough she wasn’t afraid to level me with a good smack) or, my favorite, public humiliation (oh, how I loved the uncomfortable stares from strangers as she’d go on one of her “If you hadn’t come out of me I’d swear you’re not my daughter. How can you be so stupid?” tirades. Ah, fun times.).
But when my sister played on my mom’s failing mind to finagle it so my mom left her the most…that did me in. I keep trying to forgive them both for being just bad, selfish people, because I know it’s better for my health to do that.
It’s a lot easier said than done. Sometimes, in fact, it’s remarkably easy. I don’t think about them at all.
Then there’s other times where my heart remembers, even if my brain keeps trying to forget. Like when the beginning of the end with both my mom and sister happened. Suffice it to say, it was pretty achy yesterday.
Today is better. Writing this helps. Time helps too. Three years is long in one respect, but I had 38 years worth of pain from those two. It’s not just going to fade immediately.