But today, I’ve hit the pause button – at least in one area of my life.
Oh yes – I wrote a short story today and walked the dogs and shopped and did my chores. Of course I did all of that. But in the back of my mind, just niggling – is the waiting for my brother to call with news of my mother.
My mother is 102 years old. She has lived long past the time she wanted to – long past the point of gaining any joy out of life. Yesterday she fell and broke her hip. The only reason she is due to undergo surgery is to ease her pain.
My mother and I have had a contentious relationship for part of my life, a co-dependent relationship when I was young, and a distant relationship for most of our lives.
I have envied my friends who have mothers they love, who are best friends, who hug with abandon. Every time I’ve hugged my mother since reaching adulthood, I have winced inside – I don’t want to touch her.
I thought I might write about why it’s like this – and truthfully, I don’t feel up to it – not now – not at this moment. When I was a child, it felt like she was eating my soul. When she withdrew from my father, she made me her partner-substitute – she wanted too much from me. I was too young to understand or give her what she needed.
That’s how I see it from this time, space, and distance. I suspect she would see it differently. At the time – and even now – it feels like she loved me too much. I had the power to bring her down. One frown from me and her world collapsed. It was too much. I didn’t want that power. I feared it. I ran away the day I turned 18 and could legally leave. I have consciously put distance between us since – with lapses.
I will likely look at this relationship over time – one bit at a time.
I don’t feel the love for her I that I wish I could. But I do feel compassion. I hurt for the way her life is ending and for the way she has lived it for the past decade and more – addicted to pain killers, alone, sad, suspicious of everyone.
The best I can wish for her is a peaceful, pain-free ending. I feel mean – I want more for her. She was never cruel – she did the best she could given who she was and what she knew.