Where do I start…? My not writing much for the past year gives me a whole shit load of stuff I could write about, but I’m not sure what’s really relevent to any audience I may have left out there for my diatribes. What’s interesting? What’s important? I can’t even tell anymore. I feel a bit fried to be honest. It’s been a LONG fucking year.
My Mom died a week ago yesterday. I have dreaded writing or speaking those words my whole fucking life. See, I was a hell-child who put my Mom through some intense episodes over the course of 61 years. Yet, she was always my most dedicated supporter. Sometimes picking me up and dusting me off, sometimes kicking me in the ass, sometimes bailing me out of jail, or showing up beside my hospital bed after I had done something bad to put myself there. Yet no matter what my Mom loved me and she never, ever gave up on me. Once she showed up at a drug house where I was at and yanked me out of there and hauled me to rehab which was 4 hours away at the time.
Yes, that woman saved my life repeatedly after initially giving me life to begin with when she was barely out of high school herself. She was incredibly strong, and while starting a large family as young as she and Dad were may not have been her “original” plan, it’s the one that she chose and dedicated her life to, doing the BEST job any mother could EVER do. She & Dad had me and four other kids before she was 28 yrs old. Dad was 30. They gave us the best experiences in childhood they could, raising all of us to be good, righteous, and honest people who would each contribute to the world in their own unique ways, and they were very successful at doing it!
I was difficult and I know it. I was also the oldest and the first to do everything – right or wrong, usually the latter for many years. I knew that I was attracted to girls/women very early in my childhood and I did everything to hide it. I was a hardcore Tomboy, which caused the first issues due to my adversity to dresses, girly clothing and long hair. I remember a couple of tantrums I had due to Easter outfits…those old 60’s traditional Easter dresses, hats and gloves…omg, I was SO uncomfortable in those and then when they wanted to braid my hair, I melted down as 5 yr olds will do. Of course, my sister who is 18 mos younger than me was the perfect frilly girly girl. This did not help me. Memories. I have sooo many GREAT ones because of my awesome parents.
Eventually it was clothing that brought about complete rebellion at age 13. My Dad was super strict, an ex-Marine, ex-cop who was determined NOT to raise any delinquents. His insistence that us girls wear dresses 4 days a week to school and we could wear “slacks” on the 5th, did NOT go over well with me. I wanted jeans and work boots. HIs view was that was the clothing that delinquents wore, so NO was his answer. Eventually, I would sneak clothes to school around the same time I started smoking too. After one particular arguement over dresses I wrote a note and ran away from home.
There’s a whole story in the 3 days I was gone that I may tell some other time. The end result is that things changed, my Dad and I had a very fraught relationship for many years, my siblings escaped clothing policing hell, and Mom came into my room after I got home. I was laying on my bed crying. She sat with me, talked to me, told me not to hate Dad and offered me a smoke. From then on she and I had a different dynamic, one that grew to be incredibly strong over the years. A few years ago she was cleaning out her old jewelry box and gave me that note I had written the day I ran away. She had kept it all those years. I still have it. I have the old jewelry box as well.
I never confessed my being gay to my parents until I was in the Army and home on leave one time. Instead I stuffed the feelings of being a failure in some ways. I always chose to run with the rough crowd and I did crazy kid things like smoke pot and race my car around town. Mom & Dad were good about it when I did come out to them, but I have to say it was the hardest thing I ever had to say outloud to my parents. And that is just not right in any circumstance.
My mother became my most staunch supporter. Our mother-child relationship grew and became very, very strong. I settled down in my late 20’s and left most of the crazy life behind me. I got into a very long term relationship and became super family oriented. My life completely changed, I changed and life was good.
Sure, I still got myself into the occasional pickle and Mom was always there. We could talk about together. I told her secrets and she told me secrets. We both loved gardening, collecting, thrifting, crafting and family gatherings. I am really going to miss doing those things with her. I will keep doing them and I will always have the memories of her in them.
I just want to pick up my phone and hear her voice on the other end of the line. I miss our daily calls. I miss her sooo much and I know it’s only been a week, and I have a lot of grieving ahead. And the funeral is Tuesday. I’m sure it will be a day with my family, remembering her and letting her soul know that we are all going to be alright, because she made us all strong and she prepared us as best she could for her departure. It hurts so much. I miss her and I always will. I love you Mom.
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