Friday, April 1, 2011

Memories of a Mother

So, my mother has been on my mind quite a lot lately, probably because I’ve been in crisis and I really need her right now. I know she would listen…and judge…but not harshly and not for long. My mother was always cool that way. She never bullsh*tted me about the ways of the world. I remember “the talks” when I was coming into my adolescence. One of my favorites was her “don’t do drugs” speech.

“Laurel, you know drugs are bad, I mean, that’s what the ads tell you, right? Well, obviously drugs aren’t bad. They’re great. I mean, why else would people want them so badly. There are whole criminal families dedicated to it. In fact, when I was younger, I loved amphetamines. LOVED them! We didn’t know they were dangerous of course, so the doctors used to give them out like candy. ‘Need to lose a few pounds? Here’s a pill. Have a big test coming up? Take these.’ I was so skinny and I got so much done! One weekend, I painted to the whole house.”

Mom, seriously, where are you going with this?

“But then my friends started dying. I’ll tell you Laurel, if they didn’t hurt you, I wouldn’t care if they were legal or not. I’d get them for you. But I love you and I don’t want to see you get hurt. And as for pot, I tried it a couple times…never really did anything for me.”

Yeah, that one stuck with me. How are you going to be a rebellious hellion with that kind of support? Where’s the fun without the stupid teen curiosity. So…I never did drugs. She had her demons, which is a part of why I don’t really drink either yet still I loved that woman so much. For all our problems, for all her foibles and shortfalls, she was by far one of the coolest people to grace my sphere. So I am going to honor her memory with a few stories about her because, good, bad or indifferent, love me or hate me, I am in great part who I am today because of her. And, truth to tell, as hard as it is to admit, part of this journey, part of why I have been able to break away and finally admit that nothing was working was because she died. I know that sounds awful, to say I stayed in a marriage for my mother, to say that I remained miserable and shortchanged myself on success because of her, but if she was here, things would be very different and I might not have seen the dire state my life had become. In part, she died to save me; no, she’s not Jesus, don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost it despite the sleep deprivation. No, she died, not intentionally and not with that thought in mind but to say I am not grateful would be a lie; grateful for what she gave me in life and grateful for what more she has given me in her passing. I miss her so much, but perhaps this was the only way she knew how to care for me anymore, the only way she knew how to see past her demons and love again.

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