Friday, August 16, 2013

Remembering Mom

It was one year ago today that my mother passed away. It should come as no surprise that I spent the day depressed and alone except for the cat. It should also come as no surprise that I still miss her deeply.

Mom was a bit flaky at times but I think that was part of her being a creative soul that had to spend most of her life struggling to deal with the mundane of everyday survival. She wanted to paint, write, design, and play music. She also wanted to save the world. This didn't always make her the best mother, but she tried her best at that.

I probably didn't make the job of parenting any easier in some ways. I was never one to follow orders without question. I have a stubborn streak in me that she always blamed on my father. In her later years I realized that this stubbornness came from her as well. This is important to note because way too many people asked me how I "let" her do certain things. I frequently had to point out that she was a grown woman with a mind of her own and could make choices.

One of the things I miss most is that she was the biggest fan of my writing and had supported me emotionally through my years of struggling to become published. She has acted as coach and editor on occasion. This was in stark contrast to my dad trying to shut down any dreams I ever had. Perhaps the support from her was even due, in part, to this negativity from my father.

She was a bit narcissistic. According to a therapist I once saw, both of my parents were narcissists. This made my life about them in their eyes. This explains my father's constant criticism and Mom's desire to have me at her beck and call to do things for her. My father and stepmother were always bad mouthing my mother with the certainty that she would turn me into her handmaiden -- which infuriated m

e to no end because I could see this and stood up for myself very well. The flip side is that they wanted me to follow their instruction without question. It was like the real issue was that they wanted me to be their doormat not hers. I prefer not being a doormat at all.

Despite all of this Mom and I developed a deep friendship that went beyond just being mother and daughter. We argued frequently, but also went to the movies, out to dinner, to museums, and even amusement parks together. We talked often. We shared a strong spiritual belief that, though we were Christian, would probably be better described as pantheist. We adopted lonely souls into our family when they needed it.

For months after she went "home" I would come across something that made me want to pick up the phone to call and talk with her. Some funny story, something cute an animal did, or something outrageous on the political scene.

I am someone that few people want to look past the exterior to truly see. She saw me on the inside and was proud of all that I had overcome and accomplished in this life. My stepmother, on the other hand, focuses more on my physical appearance rather than whether or not I am a decent human being. There is no doubt that I need to lose weight, but there is so much more to me than that. It was vital to me to have support for all of me.

Mom was not your average mother. Since I was not your average child, this was a very good thing. No wonder we didn't have the average mother/daughter relationship. No wonder I miss her so much!

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