Where I'm at... and thoughts on my mom


I've been doing some mental house keeping.... The past few days I've been swabbing the decks, pumping the bilges and scraping the hull... figuratively. If I were a boat I would not yet describe myself as seaworthy, but I should be soon. Sometimes I'm not in a place where I can be assured that what's running through my consciousness is actually worth sharing, much less positive and self affirming. I'm still not sure I'm there, but I have enough of a patch job done that I should be okay for now. 

In a huge change of topic, today would have been my mother's birthday. She was born on labor day.She died on labor day weekend right before 9.11.2001. I pretty much have dealt with insomnia since then...I'm not sure what was triggered or how, but I'm now a very light sleeper that is lucky to get into bed by 11:30pm and lucky to sleep until 5am. At least once per week I'll crash right after dinner and wake up a few hours later to resume my wretched schedule. After almost 7 years of this, I'm fairly resigned to my hours.

Being awake gives you time to ponder, and I've spent the last 7 years trying to understand my mother so I don't have to be angry. Initially, I thought the anger kept me awake. I don't feel angry anymore when I think of my mom, just sad.

She was one of the most selfish and self destructive people I've ever known. She had a really hard time feeling empathy for others and she put a lot of stock into how things "looked" on the surface. Because it was important to her, she assumed it was important to others. So if things weren't going well for her, she'd check out on people, emotionally and literally. Once I was an adult, she'd just disappear, for years. I last spoke with her about 5 years before she died. I hadn't seen or heard from her in a year, and my girls were asking for her and worried. Typically, she was concerned about herself and not their tender hearts and she would not return my calls. I finally tracked her down at work and asked her to please call the girls collect so they wouldn't worry. She told me not to ever call her again. I guess that would have been about 1996 or so.

She moved to San Diego later and I never saw her again. My brother (a whole 'nother post) went to move her back to Oregon in 2001 and they were trying to drive straight through. They drove from San Diego to Lake Shasta rest area without stopping. When they pulled over at Lake Shasta, my mom got out of the truck and collapsed. She'd developed a blood clot in her leg and when she stood, it tore through her heart and hit her lung. She died very quickly.

The saddest thing for my mom is that she was never really happy. And because she didn't know what would make her happy, she never had a shot at it. Even sadder that she had people that wanted a loving (at least cordial) relationship with her and she just wasn't capable. It's really hard to remain angry with someone that just didn't have more to give.

The one legacy she did leave me with was a desire to have a close relationship with my daughters. Since I'll never know what having a loving mother feels like, at least I can be the loving mother so that my daughters know it... and they can hand it to their daughters... and so on...

See, it's just a sad story. So why can't I sleep?

[stay tuned tomorrow for the ass update, a day late and much to tell! This ass has been on the move!]