I have been blue all week, a deep sadness welling up inside me at random moments. It has really caught me off guard. No surprise that I also lost my voice this week.
One of the triggers is that tomorrow is Grandparent’s day at Evan’s school. They had to write and talk about it all week, and tomorrow the kids’ grandparents are coming to class for a celebration. This upset me. What about all the little kids who will have no one there for them tomorrow, like my son? Troy’s parents are in New Mexico, and my Dad is in Texas, and then there’s my mother who lives only twenty minutes away but doesn’t know Evan at all.
And perhaps the true source of my sadness, I just found out, through the grapevine, that my mother is moving to Hawaii next week.
My mother and I have been estranged for ten years. The rift between us was not a result of some petty squabble. In my extended family, there has been sexual impropriety, drug use and abuse, and, on the women’s part, enabling and denial. I made the choice to break the silence, and therefore break the cycle. I was rewarded for my honesty by being outcast, and then blamed for breaking up the family.
We tried to set it right again. We went to therapy, but my mother quit. She said she couldn’t afford it (then went on vacation to Costa Rica, and remodeled her house). We tried without therapists. We met in a park a few years ago to talk things through. I brought Evan who was only two at the time. My mother’s anger took on a life of its own, like a feral cat backed into a corner, hissing and clawing, and all of it directed at me. And there was sweet little Evan, witnessing it all.
I made the choice to protect my own children from that toxicity. I know in my heart it was the right thing to do. But when Grandparent’s day rolls around, it still hurts.
I realized that what I am experiencing is mourning. I still held on to a thin thread of hope for my mother and I. They say times heals…I was waiting. I kept telling myself, any day now, something’s gonna shift. But it never did, and now that she’s leaving, the thread of hope was snipped for good.
The bridge between us was not only burned, it was blown to smithereens. This is not something that could be fixed long distance over the phone, or without professional help.
So as my mother packs her things and prepares for her new life, I am mourning the death of hope, and of possibility that things could ever be different.
I’ll give Evan pictures of his grandparents to take to school tomorrow. He may grow up without grandparent’s at his birthday parties, recitals or school events, but there is certainly no shortage of love surrounding him. As long as we have love, we can get through anything.
As for my mother, I wish her peace in her heart, and a beautiful life in paradise.
As the sun sets on our relationship, I guess there’s nothing else to say for now but…