recipe
May
11
2007

Perspectives

You know I realize everyone deals with things thrown at them in a different way. I am not sure there are any right ways to handle things but, I am convinced there are wrong ways. Like handling the news your elderly mom, whom you have spent the past 47 years with has what you know in your heart to be a terminal illness. Though knowing also, miracles still happen and she might and could beat this. But her body is tired. She has suffered with emphysema for 2 decades. She tirelessly took care of my father who was sick for 30 years. She and I have had our moments where we wanted to, at the very least, beat each other to a bloody pulp. And I get on her nerves and she on mine. We are so very little alike in so many ways. But I am not sure she knows that. She told my kids yesterday that I was her best friend. And always had been. You know, that kinda surprised me. I don’t know why. It just did. We have spent the past 47 years in one another’s company. I just never thought of it in that way. She had a very difficult childhood. VERY difficult. Then my father was an alcoholic for the first 10 years of their marriage. This alcoholism lead to many MANY horrible things. Not the least of 4 major car accidents in 5 years one of which left him an amputee. He was on a steady path to death but the day she told him ENOUGH. “I am taking the kids and leaving.”, he called AA. And never took another drink. That’s how may dad was, all or nothing. Then two weeks after I married he had his first of many heart attacks. And was sick for 4/5 of their marriage.

Thinking back I guess I have been her best friend. The only person she actually ever trusted. Not that I always told her what she wanted to hear but because I was alway there and honest with her, at times brutally honest. I never really had playmates as a child. I preferred the company of adults from the time I can remember. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, every adult in my life, no matter how frazzled and bizarre their own story was, worshiped the very ground I walked on.

My mother instilled in me, the confidence and self worth that she lacked. At times it has been to my detriment! I have so little patience with bs, I can’t abide it. My poor mom takes everything personally. Every hurt, every slight, every bad thing, she takes on and carries. I suppose I might be the exact opposite. It is VERY hard to hurt my feelings. In fact I can quite honestly say there are only 7 people on Earth who can hurt my feelings. My husband and my six children. Not even my parents or siblings can/could hurt my feelings. They can make me irate, beyond rationale, but they do not have my permission to hurt my feelings. In the last few years I think my mom has allowed a little of me to rub off on her. She is not so easily hurt. She doesnt take EVERYTHING personally. And if I have done any good on her behalf, maybe that is it. The way I was raised, I have always believed we all have choices, we have to live with our choices and I am not personally responsible for anyone’s but mine. To be happy or sad. To be fulfilled or needy. To be scared or confident. Very little scares me. Black widow spiders and flying (heights on any kind). That’s pretty much it. I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be…fulfilled. My life is an easy, happy one even though bad things happen and times are hard. I can always look at anyone else’s life and know mine is blessed. I practically never take things personally even when another insists it is. It certainly isnt that I have trouble admitting mistakes, I can and I make plenty. I don’t have trouble admitting when I am wrong, I just don’t ever assume because someone doesn’t agree with me, that I am the one who is wrong. I generally assume I am right until proven otherwise. I am not always the easiest person to understand. I am blunt and opinionated and practical. I am not necessarily fun but I am sincere. My mom has taught me many, many things. Some of them things TO DO. Many of them things NOT to do. But thinking back, as different as we are, she has had a tremendous effect on how I see everything and I owe her a debt of gratitude.

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