I didn't expect to cry today. I made it through till now. It's an hour to midnight and I'm listening to my friend Bill on Killradio.org. He is playing a song called "Fatherless Child" and before he played it he said "I wasn't going to make this song about me, but this song is dedicated to my mom. Happy Mothers Day". I broke down, his mom passed away years ago and I know it's always been something that has hung over him in his adult life, and here I have the opportunity to talk to my mom and see her anytime I want and yet it's hard for me to have longer than a 10 minute conversation with her.
When I moved back to Seattle an old high school boyfriend contacted me, wanting to hang out or catch up or whatever it is that people do when they feel low about their lives and want to re-live the "good ole days". I was surprised to hear that he had a 10 year old daughter. I asked how it was being a father to someone that age and he said that he doesn't spend much time in her life, he doesn't have much in common with her. I thought to myself, what the hell? She's your daughter and you have nothing in common? My long time friend has a son that he never sees even though they live in the same state. I know women who have children to save a marriage, men who are convinced their girlfriend got pregnant on purpose. Women who have multiple kids from different men....gah. I do have a point here, and it is:
When my mom was my age she was a single mom with a 12 year old daughter. I can't even take care of a plant, let alone a kid. I hated her for the longest time. I wanted a home, a father, a school that I could stay at for longer than a year, a mother I could count on to love me more than her boyfriend. As I get older and my friends and people I know grow up I see more and more what my mom was going through. Really the woman never should have had a kid, but I see now that it wasn't me...it wasn't that she didn't love me, it was just that she was having a hard enough time taking care of herself let alone another human being. I was a burden to her, but everything she did was to help us survive. She never gave up on me and always tried to provide for me.
Every Christmas there was a mound of presents under the tree, on my 16th birthday there was a car in the driveway with a big red bow, she paid for my living expenses for two years after high school because I decided I wasn't ready for college just yet. She did so many amazing things for me, and I love her for all of that.
Yes, she has done some very messed up things and yes, she has backed herself into a place right now that only she can help herself out of and man am I having a hard time watching that...but I love her. No matter what.
I called Bill on his radio show tonight to tell him that I spoke to Ma today and that she got upset with me because I tried to get her to call Grandma. She wouldn't because Grandma hasn't reached out to her since she got out of rehab. I said "Mom, I'm still angry with you and yet I've called to wish you a happy mothers day". Bill said "but that's what's good about you, mu. You can separate the good from the bad, you don't hold someone's faults against them, you love them anyway and aren't biased when it comes to what is most important."
Thank you for always knowing me better than I know myself.
Mom, if I could tell you anything and have you really listen it would be: I love you, no matter what, I love you. Your choices drive me crazy and sometimes I wish that you would learn from your mistakes and realize that you can't find happiness in a man, that happiness comes from within and once you find that there isn't anything you can't do. But still I love you. I wish that you would take an interest in me and in my life, you've raised a pretty cool kid, but even if you don't I'll still love you. I wish you wouldn't perpetuate this idea in our family that we can't get over grudges and that we can't communicate with each other, and yet still if you never talk to your parents until the day you or they die...I'll still love you.
Do you get it yet?
I hope you had a great day.