Letters to the WorldOctober Twenty-Nine 2021
For years my mother could do little besides mature me beyond my time. I held the weight of her guilty eyes, droopy as daggers piercing past my resolve. I’ve soaked in her tears & anguish, desperation I’ll never get to know better. I wonder to myself the secrets of her, chasing endless questions only to circle back to just plain missing her. So although, yes, for years, she did contribute to my growing, it’s also true that my mom protected me from much of the harsh adult reality.
After my mom settled into sober life, it didn’t take long for her to want to rectify her wrongs. I think this played out as mothering, in an overcompensating way. I certainly am not complaining. In fact, I’m praising. My mom dealt with multiple family emergencies like a hero. Calling doctors, coordinating appointments, driving & advocating. I knew, but also couldn’t imagine, how protected I was. My mother held us together. We, including I, were her babies; her pride & joys –she knew she hurt, but was doing everything in her power to heal.
When my mom passed it wasn’t without taking the floor with her. Have you ever tried walking on thin air? Everyday is borne from my waking up, forgetting dreams about her, & letting the day become a different kind of nightmare: reality. Reality is harsh.
Reality has taught me over & over that in crisis, I revert back to “I want my mom & dad.” It’s scary to know the first is not possible. My mom treated me like her little girl. Soft & easy, with a “you can tell me anything” demeanor. It felt like safety.
Now I’m spiraling down in the thin air I find myself living. There’s no ground in sight, not until a final rest & whatever comes next. I miss the protection, the safety, the help. I miss my mom & the relief she brought.
Nowadays it’s scheduling appointments myself. It’s talking about bills with my dad, no advice from her in the peanut gallery. (Not that her money advice was usually any good.) Yes, nowadays it’s me strapped to adulthood with only my father to remind me my roots. It’s hard.
It’s hard when you feel a bit cheated. One, from the childhood easiness of youth. Two, from the transitionary period of young adulthood. My mom reversed things. First I grew, then I stunted. Now I’m forced, & she’s not here to guide me through it. I am sad.