I think ahead to the time when I won’t have my mother and I won’t have my father and I feel a deep sorrow. I can try, with flowery language to express it, but I can not. Losing my father was a hard thing, but not unexpected. Losing my mother is expected, but also a hard thing.
I think of all the things over the years that I resented in my mother, and then, I look deeply at myself and see I am like her. I am her. But I am also not her.
The single minded focus. Determination. Stubbornness. Not giving a damn what anyone else thinks. But my choices of how to apply those qualities are different because I am different. And I have made different choices. Maybe not better. But different. My own.
Like my own children. Maybe one day my daughter will struggle when I am beholden and hidden in the inevitable arms of old age and wonder at our life together and resent the mistakes I have made. And my humanness. And to her I would say, I was alive, I was real. I made my mistakes. I made you. And I love you. Please forgive me for my humanness. I can not take it away. I won’t take it away. I want to feel. I want to touch. I want to sense and taste. Don’t lock yourself in a tower of what you think you are supposed to do and neglect to be alive. Resent me, resent my choices, but make your own. And own them. And grow. Grow into the life you’ve been given. That I’ve given you. I loved you into existence, from the deep beating in my heart.
And in the winter evening of my mother’s life I want to understand her, to forgive her. To help her although I feel unable to do so. She said recently sometimes she’s happier in her dreams. Then she followed up with, “but that’s not reality.” Then she said some people grow old and question why they had children at all.
She had different choices to make then, then now. She had different responsibilities then, then now. This time left between us, is like a pregnant pause. Filled with words left unsaid. But maybe she thinks, like I do, I hope my daughter will forgive me for being human. And sometimes inhabiting the space of being unloveable, because I gave her the gift of life, and all the magic it entails, from the deepness in my heart.