Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm growing...

Yesterday I’ve learnt a lesson. Maybe it’s more like I’ve come to realise something? Either way, I grew up… or older.

I have often wondered why my mother could not decide anything. When my father was still around I thought it was because he was the decision maker, but soon after his death I saw that maybe she just couldn’t make up her own mind.

The kids for their parents’ 40th wedding anniversary are celebrating her best friend of over sixty years in July. I wasn’t really planning to attend, but was sure my mother would. Given her beau’s health (he’s on dialysis 3 times/week) and how far it is (six hours heading North from her place) she decided not to go. When she told me this I felt sorry for her, assuming she was disappointed not to be there for her old friend… so I offered her to drive up with me, just the two of us, for a weekend. When I asked her she only replied: “Hmmm, let me think about it”. In mother’s speak I knew that meant, “I don’t think so”, but then again, she could surprise me.

The RSVP was June 1st, being already over two weeks late, I called my mother to get her answer. She mumbled something about looking for an answer, because she didn’t know what to do, etc. At some point I lost patience with her, and said “Mom, I’m not asking you to sign your life away. Do you want to go to your friends’ party or not?” She then answered: “I’m deciding right now! I’m not going!” We said goodbye and that was that.

This isn’t the first time she does this. For some reason, I always think it would please her to do something with me. I guess it’s not really the case even if she often says she misses me. I’m disappointed. When my father passed away I thought it would be an occasion for us to get closer, it has not been the case really.

Yesterday I realised it was my time to “let go” of this image or expectation I had of my mother. Like a parent in regards to its kids, it’s time for me to accept and deal with the fact that my mother isn’t the person I thought she was or wanted her to be. My expectations aren’t meeting reality. It’s ok, it’s all part of growing older, isn’t it?


3carnations said...

That's a good attitude. We can't make our parents what we want them to be anymore than they can make us what they want us to be. We're all connected nonetheless. :)

Marius said...

Not necessarily older, but definately wiser. It sounds like it wasn't the most pleasant lesson, though. I'm sorry you had to feel that.

Brave Astronaut said...

As a member of the "sandwich generation" with two kids and a father and a mother-in-law, there are days when dealing with the children is SO much easier than dealing with the parents.

I'm not really speaking to my father on a regular basis, mostly because he has become a different person since my mother's death two years ago.

And then my mother-in-law has her own issues, but she does us a really big favor by helping us out with childcare, so I am on my best behavior with her.

I think one of the biggest problem with dealing with our parents is that they aren't going to change and we have no choice in the outcomes, which can be very disheartening.

But you can still be the best daughter you can be and that's the best she should ever expect of you.

Ananke (Goddess With An Identity Crisis) said...

I have the same problem but it's with my sisters. I have three of them but I've come to the conclusion that they just plain don't want me around. Unless they need something. Kinda sucky but what can you do? You're still a good daughter to offer even if you know it won't happen.

Janes Insane said...

My dad died in '93. Since then, my mom has become a different person. I can say she actually mourned for 8 years. I'm mentioning this because I'm assuming your parents got married young & now is the 1st time your mom isn't with your dad. I'd imagine your mom may not even know who she is anymore. Adding to the grieving process comes the realization that she no longer knows herself. This really may be the 1st time your mom actually is making her mind up for her & her alone.
My purpose in writing this isn't to make you feel bad, and of course I could be 100% off here. My relationship with my mom is nothing like it was when my dad was alive. Sometimes our roles are reversed, sometimes we're best friends, sometimes we talk about guys!, sometimes I almost can't stand her. She's weak in areas I always thought she was strong, she's strong in areas I figured she was weak. I guess what I'm trying to say is: expect the unexpected. Throw out what used to be & try to see her for "her", she's not part of "them" anymore. As much as that hurts to say & realize, for your mom it's what she's having to come to terms with.

I hope I didn't overstep my boundaries.

Stinkypaw said...

3c: True.

marius: It's all good, frustrating, but part of the lesson.

brave a: We all have issues, right? I'm trying to be there, but with a little "step back"...

ananke: Siblings can be a handful as well, I'm sure, wouldn't know since I'm alone.

jane: They married in their 20s, and my dad died in 99. She's never been alone and can't be. Her beau moved in with her within 2 months of my father's passing. I've came to realise that I was better off not having any expectation.

If I wouldn't want you (readers) to comment I would turn them off, so no worries about overstepping the bounderies, and if that happens I'll let you know! Not a problem! ;-)

lizgwiz said...

Awww..I'm sorry you tried to do something nice and got treated like that. But you tried. Good for you! (And her loss.)

Stinkypaw said...

lizgwiz: Thanks Liz!

Just a grail said...

Yes, sadly getting older means that we have to come to terms with stuff that we would rather not. I am still working on that with my mom. I think that we all have these wonderful ideas about what our parents should be and when they are not it is really hard not to be disapointed.

Paisley said...

Parental relationships are so hard. At least you tried. I guess I should say never quit trying, which is hard to say when it is so hurtful.

My BFF just had to pretty much say goodbye to her relationship with her dad. So much hurt and terrible things. She's healed so much but just realized that she's not dealing with a normal person, but with a narcissist who will never change no matter how much she wants to think he has.

Tough stuff. I'm sorry you had to go through that. You have a great attitude about it, though. Too bad we can't switch off that "approval" button when we get older, eh?

Stinkypaw said...

grail: I also think it is just the same for every parents in regards to their kids... that is what makes life so interesting, I guess.

paisley: That would be one useful button I'd like to find! ;-)

jason67 said...

Well, in this case, your mother's indecision works in MY favor... ;-)

See you guys on the 12th!

Stinkypaw said...

jason67: Hee. You sure will!