Sunday, July 14, 2013

Two Weeks


I closed out two weeks with my mother. Yep. I am 32 and my mom just spent two weeks here in my house, eating my food, using my shower, experiencing pieces of my life. Frankly, I think I was drunk or close to it when I made this suggestion that she come and visit. My reasoning to her was, "Well, what else have you got to do?" And that was true. After her stroke last year, she has only been out of the house when her husband was with her.

(Begin sappy post)

So she came. And I was scared. I went and picked her up from Ohio and the whole time I was driving to get her I kept saying, "What the fuck are you thinking - you won't last 3 days." I was dreading it...and anxiously excited at the same time. This was the first time since I was divorced that I really had an opportunity to show her my life and what I have made of it. And yes, I felt like I had to do that. Validation. I say I don't need it - but yeah, that little kid in all of us wants validation from our parents, especially if they are in our lives, that we are OK. I was excited to have her spend some real quality time with lil man, and see who he has become. And to see who she has become - and in my head, to change it. :)

Of course I am being honest. My mom in my eyes has never been as strong as I wanted her to be. Never taken care of herself as good as I thought she should. Never taken opportunities that I felt she should.

When I picked her up, this was the first time I had seen her in over a year. No, I didn't go see her when she had her stroke...I know...

She was slower than I remember - she walked with a cane, and held her husband's hand for balance. She had just gotten her hair cut into a sassy new do - I think, to put her best forward for me. :) Mom was always like that. Always cared what I thought. Always had my thoughts in mind.

I took her to get her first massage and her eyebrows threaded. We bought matching tennis shoes. We sat on the patio listening to music at Brewstone. We went shopping for clothes for her that would fit (she always buys HUGE clothes that don't fit - I will be right about that till the end, I don't care how disrespectful it is - if you look like a shlumpadinka, buy clothes that fucking fit).....

I drove her and lil man to the Cincinnati Zoo and pushed her for five hours in a wheelchair because the electric ones were rented. Yes, it took beer to get through it - I was tired. And lil man and I laughed about it when we both struggled to get that thing up a hill as mom took out her cane and attempted to "help" by paddling. Fail.

We went to the Monon Center to go swimming and I walked with her to get into the water. The pool was 0" depth entry and slanted. I held out my hand for her and she took it, although her pride didn't want her to. I looked to the right and the left of me and saw these parents holding the hands of their children, helping them walk into the water as well. I thought about how many times my mom did this for me when I was a child, and how the roles had been reversed. Emotionally, this was a moment for me, because how often in a life does a person get the opportunity to repay a service so small, to a parent, who at one time did the same thing without a second thought. Helping your child into the water is just something you do. And I was now providing this service for my mom, without a second thought.

My mom was here to witness the "break up" of the douchebag I had been seeing. She saw me in my element, cooking in my kitchen, learning a few of my tricks and recipes. She taught lil man how to play Cribbage and was able to tell him stories about my life and her life that I never could.

The last week, although I had to work, it was pleasant to come home and have a adult voice to talk to - an adult to just sit on the patio with and stare at the lake.

Learning has taken place. I know - if I was unsure before, I know what a great kid I have. I know what a great life i have and what a great mom I am. I know that I have built everything I have and created all of my successes and failures - and I am proud of all of that. I am strong. I know this because I worked way too hard to show my mom all of these things in the 2 weeks she was here.

At the end of the 2 weeks, I learned I did all of that work for nothing. In all the years that I have worked so hard to make my mom see me - she always has. All the times that it was easier to be angry because I didn't feel I was receiving the attention and validation and "pat on the back" from my mom I needed, it was there.

My mom accepts me when I am unacceptable. She loves me when I am unloveable. She gets me, and she sees me. She sees me.

I'm am so beyond happy she came to visit. We both learned things about ourselves and each other. I miss her. I am by myself sitting on this patio now and it just doesn't feel right. I forgive my mom for being human and I forgive myself for the same. I am beyond delighted she came into our lives and stayed for a mini-vacation.
Thanks mom :)

(End sappy post)

I know I haven't written in my blog for over a year - and I have said that I would come back eventually. Alot has happened over this past year. Lots of mistakes and laughing, and successes, and tears. Look forward to reading about it. And the best is yet to come.

You're welcome.



  1. I was touched by this post Lisa Marie. I stumbled back onto blogspot after several years away to start a Walt Disney World Tips Blog and noticed I was following your blog. I remember cracking up in the past when reading the humerous way you describe life events and was surprised by the amount of time that had passed between your latest posts. Tammy and I had just got back from taking my parents on a one week Walt Disney World trip. My Dad is 80 and mom is 77, so I am having a similar role reversal with them like you described in your post. They were always taking care of me and providing the opportunities for great memories and now I have began to take on that role. My parents are still very active for their age but over the past year they have slowed down a significant amount. More and more doctor's visits, procedures and a bad fall from my mother that required surgery to her shoulder and permanent range of motion loss to her right arm. My parents always seemed like they would be around forever and now their mortality often weighs on my mind. Each memory I have with them these days is priceless to me and held in high esteem and the phone calls I always took for granted are now anxiously answered and given my full attention. As we made the long walks around the Disney parks and resorts I would regularly stop and ask my mom if we needed to stop or slow down and we often did just that. I just wanted you to know that I can relate to your experience of wanting your parents to see you as a grown up and realizing that you can now give them the support that they once gave you. I hope you and Lil Man are doing well and life has treated you fairly.