This weekend we went down to Phoenix to see my mother. About a month ago, I was sitting on the couch opening up a box. A present from my mother for my birthday. I knew the one box was flowers and I was excited to have my first bouquet of fresh flowers grace my new dinning room table. They were a lovely accent. I also got some bath stuff and a pretty necklace. It was then that my husband said, "You know, your mom is trying really hard. We should pay her a visit." I agreed. I thought it was time she met our newest addition to the family. So the hubs started looking at booking our hotel stay over his vacation for labor day.
See I don't have that typical mother daughter relationship. Its strained. Its strained because there is a lot of hurt and pain behind our relationship on both sides. At 16 I ran off. I ran away. But it was the best thing for me to do at the time. I graduated college after completing high school in four years and really it was the most freeing, independent best time of my life. I discovered myself.
But while I was discovering myself, my mother was battling cancer. Stage 4 cancer. in October of 2004 I saw her once in the hospital. I wouldn't believe she had cancer until I saw it for myself and even when I did then, I still had trouble believing it. At that time, my mother looked the same to me. She didn't look ill. But I still didn't want to believe it. I went on with my life. I went back to my new normal while she battled on.
Last year, J Myster was about 2 and a half when we saw her on a trip to the Phoenix zoo. It was the first time she would ever meet one of my children. I was nervous. I really didn't know what to expect from the meeting. When we pulled into her apartment complex I saw her walking. I didn't see her face, but I knew it was her from the long hair and figure. She was walking with a cane. That was knew. I had never seen her like that. A tiny ball of guilt swelled up inside my throat. Where was I when she needed me?
This time instead of being so rigid and having such an comfortableness about the meeting, it was more relaxed. As grandmas do, she brought toys for the kids. They had a blast playing in the apartment complex's wreck center. She loved just seeing them. Being able to hold Baby B. Making them smile and laugh. I knew it meant a lot to her. I was starting to see her in a different light. She looked frail, her face looked puffy and her eyes looked tired. She looked older. I think its hard to see a parent when it has been 15 plus years since you really saw them last, and then they look so different.
I don't know what to think about the last 15 years. Would I have my Husband or my kids now if I had gone back? All I know is that my mother is no longer this threatening scary person I once saw her as. She's a frail human being, that has trouble walking due to the aftermath of the chemo therapy she went thru. At least she has my brother to take care of her. But I now see myself in her. As she once was, a mother just trying to do her best for her kids. Everyone makes mistakes and while some of the mistakes she made still feel like daggers in my heart, I know I've thrown those daggers right back.
I'm sad. I don't know what it would have been like to have her there when my kids were born. I still really have the inability to help her since she lives 2 hours away and I have a family of my own to tend to. I'm just sad that its taken me to the age of 31 to really let go of the pain. I didn't think I had any....I really thought it was all behind me. But I can see now that I didn't ever let it go. I think I'm ready to let go now. At least I hope so. The hard part about me, is I'd just rather pretend its not there.
Wife, Mother of Two Boys, Coffee Addict, Pinterest obsessed, an aspiring writer balancing every day life of raising a family and blogging about it.