I’m sitting here tonight, wondering how in the world it got to be October 6th already, and thinking I only have 18 days before we leave the North Rim to go to Alabama. I am psyched for traveling again, and really glad that I’ll be in a place where I’ll see water every day. I am happy that I will see my daughters and my grandson again soon. But on the same token, I am saddened that I will be leaving a place I love so much. Saddened that there aren’t enough days to spend with friends before we go. Lonely for them already and we aren’t even gone yet.
And as I think about that, I also wonder how I got to be fifty-seven years old so fast. Where did all THAT time go. I think about the people back home in Georgia, the related ones, of course, but more often the chosen ones. People who have been my friends for years, who still love me, no matter what flaws I may have. Amazed at how many of them I have found on Facebook, and who want to get together with me for lunch or coffee, or whatever, when I get back to town this winter. And overjoyed that I found one in particular just recently, who I have known since the 8th grade. Knowing that she was my best friend for many years, and that I have known her for more than 40, and happy that I may see her again soon.
And that kind of thinking always leads me to think of my mother. My relationship with my mother has always been shakey–I have never felt like I have accomplished quite what she wanted me to, or that she has ever approved of anything I have done. Lord knows I have tried. But at 57, I have tried to let all that go, and just love her, no matter what, in the hope that she would do the same. Sometimes that is hard to do. Sometimes I cringe when I see her phone number in the caller ID, and sometimes I don’t answer when I know it is her. Sometimes I do, hoping she will be the sweet mother I always hoped she would be. Too often, though, it’s not. And I know I can’t change that. I really do try to be patient with her. She misses me–my sister tells me that she does. It’s just hard to believe that when every time she calls me she loses her temper with me–whether it is something I say, or, a lot of the time, whether it is something I DON’T say.
We have very different opinions about a lot of things, from politics to religion, and back again. Most of the time she rants on rather loudly about whatever it is that has gotten her ire up, and I just listen until she calms down. More and more often, though, if I keep my mouth shut and bite my tongue in an attempt to NOT make her mad, that just makes her mad. And I have told her over and over again, that just because we have different opinions, it doesn’t mean I don’t love her. That maybe we should agree to not discuss religion or politics, and just talk about family, and my life and her life. And forget about the rest.
Our most recent telephone conversation ended with her calling me some ugly names, and hanging up on me. And I cried like I was eight years old again. I wish I could figure out why this happens. My sister says it is because she misses me. And that she wishes I would call her more often. And I might agree, that that is the case. But who wants to call when they know what the result will be?
I know there will come a time when I will wish that every time the phone rang it would be my mother. She is almost 82 years old, and I know how lucky I am to have had her in my life for as long as I have. I just wish she would feel lucky to have me, even if I am 2,000 miles away. Mama, do you know I love you???? do you know that you did a great job raising me? do you know that even if I didn’t accomplish what you dreamed for me, that I have achieved my dreams for myself? do you know that I am lonely for you, too?