Friday. Lunch. Nothing very unusual to find on someone's schedule. That is, unless you're me. And unless it's with my mother.
Yes, after 12 years of no contact, we've decided to meet in the middle and do lunch this week. To say things have changed would be an understatement. There was a time when she wouldn't meet me next door much less twenty miles down the road.
I've spoken with Mom (gosh, I used to choke on that name) four times. Each conversation was absent of the blame game and full of past apologies and future hopes. There's an underlying "I'm here now Honey and it's okay" in her tone. Her voice is soft, calm and inviting to my inner child who has missed her so much. To the adult I've become, she's accepting and only asks for my time...and a chance to make things right.
Yesterday I thought the world was opening up and swallowing me in as I heard the words,"I've always loved you Honey, you're my baby and I've missed you so much." I could feel the lava of the planet's inner core begin to burn my feet as she continued to unveil little things I'd given her that she'd kept all these years. Would've placed my life savings on the planet blowing up before she ever said,"Honey, I'm proud of you." But I'd be dead ass broke now cause she said it last night....but more importantly, I could tell by her near whisper, she meant it.
Yes, the woman who has been the catalyst for much of my disappointments, hurts and resentments has now appeared as the person I'd always hoped she could be. Well, toss my salad and call me Caesar....it's a whole new world. I almost don't know whether to raise a flag or bake a cake. For now I'll do neither...it's too soon....I need time.
I find myself squirming inside. I so want to believe this woman has changed but I find myself doubting, questioning and looking for the 'old' mother to appear and snatch away the goodness as quickly as it appeared. I guess reasonable boundaries are okay but I am mindfully trying to remain optimistic, open, and compassionate.
The simplest of words blow me away. Do you know she remembers my favorite color? She even remembers what foods I liked when I was a baby. Information I'd thought she'd long forgotten as she'd never told me before.
Heck, I never knew what her favorite anything was...but I'm beginning to learn now. She likes black and red. Pork chops over steak and yes, beets but they must be pickled. She loves country and western music and dance. Even loves the ocean as much as I do. Perhaps this sounds trivial to some, but imagine not knowing for 40 plus years and then one day being allowed close enough to gather the information. Mind-blowing really.
I only spent the first 2 1/2 years of my life with her...then at 17, I spent about ten years knocking heads with her, just trying to make us fit into each other's lives....or more accurately, into each other's expectations of who we should be. It didn't work. If anything, it only accentuated the pain we both (yes today I can say 'both') felt. Then it was only a quick hello and expected check-in holiday visits once every four or five years...until I totally gave up in March of 1997.
Suffice it to say, I am both excited and scared to death. I've placed up boundaries as protection but I'm remaining open to tearing them down. After all, there's a little kid inside of me who is so afraid of being crushed again...but she too is breathing life into the possibilities of a brighter future. One conversation at a time.
My mother is gifted when it comes to crafts. I'd always wanted her to make me something....now, get this, she did! She made me a decorative tree- not a Christmas tree- but a table top center peice with lights and decorations. She's bringing it to lunch so I can take it home with me. Can't wait to see it. Between you and me, she could have drawn the smallest of things...let's say a mouse...on a scrap piece of paper, handed it to me, and I'd treasure it because for that second or two she was thinking enough of me to create the drawing. Instead, she took an hour or two and made something really nice. I'm touched.
In closing, I don't know where I'm headed with this journey of rediscovery, but for now it's pork chops and pickled beets....and maybe a mindful hug or two.
Here's wishing you all a day of restoration...where something hurtful can be resolved and healed. Have a happy today!