Sunday, December 03, 2006

On the Way to Where I'm Going

I was going to make a post today about all the hurdles in my life that I feel I need to clear, but I think the thing weighing heaviest on my mind is my mother. And maybe if I ramble on a bit about her, I can find some clarity. Whether or not that's "Blog Worthy" I'm not certain, but seeing as how I have only about 3 or 4 faithful readers, it doesn't seem to matter as long as I trust those who are reading, with some of my deepest personal thoughts, which I do.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I do not have a good and healthy relationship with my mother. Even my father once referred to her as a "dogmatic zealot" and that's about as good a place to start describing her as any.

I love my mother. I really do. She has a good and generous heart and rarely ever, does someone meet her and not immediately think she's a sweet lady. She loves her children with a ferocious, and all-consuming concern for their spirituality and the ultimate destination of their souls in the afterlife. It's what goes on in "this" life that my mom isn't so good at handling.

My mother was born (in 1938) during the final phase of the great depression and raised in a family that for all my observation was completely emotionally crippled. My grandfather was an old school man, who worked the railway, deeply and hatefully prejudiced and was of the firm belief that you should never throw any belonging away, boys didn't cry, meat wasn't edible until it was burned to cinders, and you should never leave your house unattended because all the neighbours are thieves. My grandmother was always very sweet to me as a child, but to this day I'm not certain what her relationship was like with her own kids (my mother, aunts and uncle). My mom loved her very much and was with her when she died, but I know my mom also had issues with her that she never spoke about.
That's almost all the history I know about my mom's life aside from a few childhood stories, the most recounted of all being: how she found Jesus in a one-room school-house/church when she was 13 years old. And that was the love-story of her life.
I've always admired her faith and I still do to a degree (of course much more so when I was a child). My dad was not the love of her life, and although I think they did love one another in a co-dependent kind of way, there was more resentment and manipulation to my parents marriage than what I've come to know as a nurturing and respectful love. That's not to say I'm an expert on love, but growing up around behaviour I thought was perfectly normal as a kid, that turns out to be just plain sad when you see it beside the loving relationships that were the backbone of other families, helps you to see what you grew up lacking.

My mom and dad engaged in premarital sex (cue the shocked and appalled audience) when they were in their teens, my mom got pregnant, they were married (in 1954) at 18 and 16 years of age, and my mom miscarried the baby thereafter. So, as sad a summary as that is, it's more tragic to know that with the death of that unborn child the primary reason for their marriage was suddenly gone. It goes without saying that they stayed together of course. After two more miscarriages, my sister Cheryl was born in 1957, and my sister Darlene followed in 1960. (I didn't come along until 1973 when my mom was 35, my dad was 37, and my sisters were 16 and 13 respectively)

Every kid with an evenly remotely loving mother thinks the world of her, and I did. I thought my mom hung the moon for a great portion of my childhood. She was always there for me to take care of every cut and scrape, every school bake sale, every illness I ever had, every bedtime bible story, and every trip to church and Sunday School. In my mind, my mom was the best, and I still think of her fondly when I remember all those things. If there was ever a thing that my mom tried to instill in me it was spirituality and faith in the bible. It was all I knew and being an angelically good (there's not even a hint of sarcasm in that - I was a GOOD child), attentive and smart kid, I followed in her footsteps. And I don't think it was until after my dad's first heart attack that I ever wavered in my good behaviour (not that that event had anything to do with my behaviour - just a benchmark in my own time line). My dad's first heart-attack was in.... (God this post has involved a lot of math) 1981 and I was in Grade 3.

(interruptus grandiosus) I'm in the midst of doing housework and various other tasks today... so I'm going to have to continue this post at another time. Hmmph... and I didn't even get around to my horrible relationship with my mom... imagine that. Well, every story has to start somewhere, and it wouldn't be fair to not talk about her goodness as well, so this is "to be continued". Likely well-after this week is over and done with since there are a few personal deadlines coming up so I'm not likely to be doing much blogging for a bit. Just like me to start something I can't finish.

Song of the day goes with my melancholy mood. "So Unsexy" by Alanis Morissette.

Oh these little rejections
how they add up quickly
One small sideways look and I
feel so ungood
Somewhere along the way I think
I gave you the power to make
Me feel the way I thought only
my father could

Oh these little rejections
how they seem so real to me
One forgotten birthday I'm all but cooked
How these little abandonments
seem to sting so easily
I'm 13 again
am I 13 for good?

I can feel so unsexy for someone so beautiful
So unloved for someone so fine
I can feel so boring for someone so interesting
So ignorant for someone of sound mind

Oh these little protections
how they fail to serve me
One forgotten phone call and I'm deflated
Oh these little defenses
how they fail to comfort me
Your hand pulling away and I'm

When will I stop leaving baby?
When will I stop deserting baby?
When will I start staying with myself?

Oh these little projections
how they keep springing from me
I jump my ship as I take it personally
Oh these little rejections
how they disappear quickly
The moment I decide not to
abandon me

1 comment:

Keltie said...

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this. I knew you through many of the harder years that follow, and you were good then, too, you know.