This week’s theme at Heads or Tails is Never say never…things you thought you would never hear yourself say or do, but now you do.
There were 3 things that came to mind for this one….some good, some bad, but all very introspective. That is why I enjoy H/T so much…it always makes me think.
1. (in no particular order) Moving away from home. If you had told me 5 or 6 years ago that I would be leaving my beloved VA to move NORTH (of all places!) to PA, I would have told you that you were insane. NEVER would I leave my home, my family, my practice, my friends, my security to move ANYWHERE north of the Mason Dixon. Well folks, here I am. A good experience, yes, happy? sometimes. Enlightening? um…..sometimes. Fun? not so much most of the time. Did I make new friends? yes. Do I still crave the old ones? more than you will ever know. That old adage “make new friends, but keep the old” rings hard in my ears here.
2. I remember when I was offered a job, which would require my leaving the railroad. I laughed, and said “I would NEVER leave here, this is my home (theme forming?!?)”. As we all know, I did, and it was a mistake. As heart and gut wrenching as leaving there was, I know it was good for me to make mistakes, try things out, and use it as a learning experience. It still hurts, I’m still sad, but at least I can walk away from there after a visit and know that I made a choice, stuck to it, and learned a lesson. Someone once told me that Life’s a bitch, if it were a slut, it would be easy. Ah well.
3. This one came to mind, and is hard to share, but, truly fits in the never category. I don’t even know where to start, so I’ll just jump. I never thought that when my mother finally passed away I would miss her. BEFORE you get your panties in a twist and call me horrible…hear me out. When I was 8 weeks old, I was adopted. My mother (adoptive) could not have children due to a complication and medical procedure resulting from a pregnancy when she was 12. Yes, I said 12. (I’m sharing this, because it sets up a lot of things in the tale). My parents were both alcoholics. Mother was an angry drunk. Daddy was more complacent, yet would get drunk for a month at a time when it happened. Anyway. It was a tough childhood. When I turned 12 (see the reference here?) my mother started to be….I dunno…she didn’t like me and I didn’t know why until many years later. That is about the time the more intense, shall we say…beatings started. Broken spatulas, etc. We did not get along…and I was a good kid. Hell, I had to be. If she even imagined I stepped out of line, she would beat the crap out of me. ANYWAY….her drinking continued after Daddy died, got worse at times, and our lives were really bad. I won’t go into details. Just suffice it to say it was REALLY bad. There were long periods…months….when we wouldn’t speak. After she threw me out (drunk and at gunpoint at 17) and she moved back to WV, it was a great sigh of relief for me to have her so far away. After Daddy passed…all she wanted was to be with him. This was a constant for her. Just to tell me she wanted to die because then she would be with him. *interjecting*. Daddy had been dead less than 4 days. Long hard trip to WV for a burial, travelled home on Christmas eve (yep) exhausted, hurt, etc. Day after Christmas, I’m sitting in my room, crying. She walks in, and wants to know why. I say, I miss daddy. It’s hard. Her exact response to me was the following. “Why are you crying? What do you care? He’s not even your real daddy. You’re adopted. I don’t need you, I need him. Why couldn’t it have been you, not him”. That is how I found out I was adopted. Did I mention our relationship was tenuous at best? Anyway…over the last years of her life, we didn’t see much of one another. Seems the few times when I went to visit, all she could do was tell me what a better mother she was than I, etc. Driving 8 hours to visit with the kids, we were there less than 20 minutes and shan would be crying to come home. Yes, it was that bad. She only wanted to die and be with daddy. When she did, I should have been happy for her, relieved, something. But it was devastating. In typical fashion, our last conversation was mother’s day. I was trying to convince her to move to an assisted living facility. I even got information about ones close to me (what was I thinking? I dunno) and asked if she would do that…so the kids and I could see her. Her response was she would rather move to one in Huntington where her family could visit her. No joke. She was dead 3 days later. Her final crushing blow to me was that she would rather be with extended family, than her daughter and grandkids. While cleaning out her house, I found a photograph of me as a child. On the back she had written “the next time you see this, I’ll be dead. I want you to know I always loved you.” After all this, most wonder why it would be so tragic to me that she was gone. It’s sad to me because now she’s just not there. Whether we got along or not, I knew I could call her and ask about places we’d been, or people, or things. She loved the Redskins, and met Sonny J one time. That was her fondest memory I think. I miss her on holidays, about the only time we could talk civil like. I miss her when I think of my people in WV, with whom I have very little relationship anymore because they desperately wanted to avoid her wrath, and I think were happy just to have it directed at me. Can’t really blame them. I missed her when I sold the escort, since it was the last thing we had together. I miss her when my kids argue with me, and I try to see their side of things. I miss her when I hear gospel music…which she was raised on and loved. I never thought I would, but I do.