Orphaned at 34

I’ve had several posts planned, I’ve not done it for a while because I’ve told myself I was busy, but the truth is I didn’t feel like I had anything to say.  I went on a trip to Tennessee with my mom, CM, and Bug and I was going to write about that, then 3 days after we came home, she died.

My mom is dead. My dad died three years ago.  As ridiculous as it is to say, I feel like an orphan. I feel lost. I feel angry. I’m mad at my mom more than anything. I’m mad at her for the 34 years of arguments. I’m mad at 34 years of making me second guess myself. I’m mad at 34 years of making me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I’m mad a her for spending the last 10 years pretending like the awful things that happened growing up were things that I made up. I’m mad that we didn’t get the opportunity to improve our relationship. I’m mad that I wasn’t more patient. I’m made that she never saw her own faults. I’m mad that after my dad died of heart problems, she didn’t take care of her own health issues, especially her weight. I’m mad that my daughter is missing two grandparents. I’m mad at myself that I am relieved that I can live my life without being constantly judged and questioned. I’m mad that Bug will never know all the good qualities my mom mad. I’m mad that I didn’t forgive more often.

For every thoughtless, unkind thing she did, she probably did half a dozen nice things.  When I was going through financial issues with my ex-husband, she let us both come stay there.  When my ex-husband and I split up, I moved in with her for a year and a half. If I ever needed clothes or money, she gave it to me. If she knew someone who was going without, she’d make sure they had it. She made baskets for battered women shelters, she gave snack boxes to programs for deployed service members. She sold make up for a living and would go to nursing homes to do makeup for old women. Any time I had a friend with nowhere to go, they had a place on her couch.

Any time I failed at something, I could be sure it would be brought up the next time we argued. I have been screamed at for things I did in kindergarten as a grown adult. I have had mistakes I made a decade ago cast up to me during arguments about current day issues. Through my childhood and up into my late teens I was slapped, hit, cornered, and had my room tore to pieces in her fury. She once caught me with a romance novel and she tore my whole room apart and smashed things on the floor. When she found out that I was bisexual she told me she couldn’t believe that she let me around her nieces and nephews, like I was an actual person. When she found out I was sexual active at 19  because she found condoms she called me a whore who’d fuck anybody.

When I moved in with my ex when I was 24, she helped me furnish our apartment.  When we told her we were getting married when I was 26, she spent the next year helping me plan a beautiful wedding.  She and my father never once worried about the money for anything.  Most times I was reigning her in and finding the cheaper option. When she started making friends with gay people she took me to go see her first drag show and she bough us all drinks. We never spoke of my sexuality but, what can you do. When I got pregnant 6 months after I started seeing CM and I had a baby 15 weeks early, she did everything she could to help. She drove 30 minutes north twice a week every week to come see Bug in the NICU. She bought baby clothes, barrettes for hair the baby didn’t even have yet, and tiny little shoes. Every mile stone we made in the NICU she’d tell anyone who would listen. Every picture went on Facebook. She constantly reminded me that I needed to make sure I was taking care of myself.

My mom got pregnant during her senior year of high school. She missed her graduation ceremony because she was in labor with me. My dad joined the Navy to support us and they both worked their asses off over the years. They were both capable of being violent and cruel. They were both capable of loving. They tried really hard all the time. They worked hard and they started a family when they were young. I don’t know that they ever had the tools they really needed. I also know they could have gotten the counseling to have them.

So today is Father’s Day.  I don’t have a mother or a father anymore. I have CM though and I know that he will be exactly the kind of father Bug needs and deserves. It helps, but it isn’t really doing much for the gaping hole that I have inside me right now. Three weeks ago I was crying and telling CM that I wished my dad was here to take care of my mom. That he could somehow fix things. Now, they are back together, I suppose.

I don’t know how long it will take to reconcile both sides of my mom. I don’t know how long it will take me to be ok. What I can say is that, she had a good last weekend. She went to go see her parents with me, CM, and her Bug. She grilled out and had steaks and she was there to see her grandbaby get in a swimming pool for the first time. I guess if I had to pick a way to spend my last weekend, it would be grilling out around a pool with the people I care about.

No pictures on this post, I’ll share pictures some other time.