Today is Mother’s Day but I was able to get it out of the way yesterday. My brother was having a First Holy Communion/Birthday party for my niece and a friend’s son. I knew my mother would be there so I seized the opportunity to “celebrate” Mother’s Day a day early WHILE surrounded by many people. It’s a great way to avoid unwanted confrontation….. AND A GOOD THING, TOO!!!
The initial greetings and hello-hugs went fine. My Dad was sure to ask about the hideous red patch on the corner of my mouth (I can always count on good ol’ Dad to point out my facial blemishes). It’s eczema and I haven’t had a flare up since I was twelve!!! Lucky me. Stress has reared it’s ugly head upon my face….with a vengence I might add. But I digress. Later on I foolishly made the mistake of commenting on something which sparked another comment from HER. I made the mistake of saying how I don’t really know my oldest brother……..
“David couldn’t be here today because he had to work”.
“What else is new?….I don’t really know David, to be honest with you.”
“Well I don’t know any of you kids!”
I couldn’t look at her. I just stared at my cold, half-eaten burger on my plate and replied in a soft voice…..
“Let’s not go there right now.”
I got up, asked her if she was finished, took her plate as well as mine and went inside to throw them away. I was hoping that would be the end of it. Not sure how many minutes passed before she came inside to show me pictures she took earlier in the day. So I obediently sat down next to her on the couch and squinted at the tiny display screen on her digital camera as she narrated. Pretty soon people were starting to file out of the sliding doors to watch the birthday boy open his presents on the patio. PERFECT TIMING! I get up and two steps into my escape I hear my name. I turned around to see two BIG, ROUND, puppy dog eyes welling with tears, looking up at me.
“I’m sorry I snapped at you earlier.”
I had to think for a minute because I’d already pushed the earlier conversation out of my head.
“Oh, that…. No worries. Just forget about it.”
Still looking up at me with an even sadder expression, eyes now reddening……
“Mindy, I’ve been feeling this way ALL DAY.”
You know…..NOW I can think of all kinds of retorts but, at the time, I felt pretty numb; almost as though I wasn’t really in the situation but sort of next to myself. I wasn’t prepared for this and I honestly didn’t know how to respond. Remember, we’re at a party. One retort that currently comes to mind would have been to mention how I’VE been feeling since she repeatedly rejected me so many years ago. But, like I said, I wasn’t prepared or ready to discuss these issues with her this fine , blue-skied day. It wasn’t the time OR the place. I think this is about the gist of what I said………
“A talk is coming but not right now.” WHAT ELSE SHOULD I SAY?! WHAT ELSE SHOULD I SAY?!……… “I’ve been going through a lot.”
“I know blah blah blah” (Sorry, all I remember is “I know”)
“I’ll send you an email of something I wrote. It’ll get you up to speed a bit.”
She asked if it was something I had written a while back that she may have read. Then she mentioned it may have been from almost a year ago! Umm, no. How would something I wrote a year ago get her up to speed?…………BIG SIGH………. I told her no….she said oh or OK or something to that effect and I was OUTTA THERE!!!!
Later I was able to pull my brother aside and tell him what happened. He seemed to be a lot angrier at Mom than I ever knew! His tone and body language were telling me his issues with our mother run deep as well. On this fine day he was pissed because she invited herself to spend an extra night which, in turn, screwed up THEIR plans for Mother’s Day. I listened while he vented. He related to my lack of emotion whenever our mother’s tears are involved. I said I felt bad. He said “Don’t! She made her bed and now she has to lie in it.”
It’s kind of nice knowing I’m not alone in this…………… and I know he was in the heat of the moment. I get it. There have been MANY times when I, too, have felt this anger towards Mom, but on this particular day I was not experiencing anger. On this day I kinda felt sorry for her. But that was about the extent of it.