11 May 2013

the easy option

Sometime last year I realised that I had forgotten the date of my mother's death. I knew it was sometime in August, or July, but the year? My sister gave me this look again: typical, you have always taken the easy option. The funeral I remember. It is not something to ever forget. But not for today.

The last time my mother came for a visit (maybe 20 years ago), she decided she wanted to leave after the first night. This did not come as a surprise, there was always something. (On the previous visit she could not stand the dust on the skirting plus the fact that we were doing it all wrong with her granddaughter.) While I drove her to the station, she told me that I was and always had been too uptight for her taste. That and the fact that we had asked her not to smoke indoors. And some more, but I stopped listening. Just before she got on the train she managed a quick little thank you. She did have a thing about Good Manners.

I will never pick up all the pieces. I want to think that my very young grandmother here is looking at her newborn daughter with wonder and love. That she is excited, a bit nervous, even a little scared, of course, but basically happy. But I know that she spent hardly any time with her child, that there was a nanny waiting once the photgrapher was done. My mother's life is full of stuff like that, a never ending story of loss and riches, loneliness and grandeur, travel, music, intelligence, war and death, hardship, illness, drugs, addiction, rejection, despair and deep dark sad fury.

My life is different. So wonderfully and miraculously different and whole and sane that at times I feel faint just realising this. Some of my innocent goody-good friends occasionally try to get me to do all that forgiveness stuff complete with the self help books and daily moments of gratefulness etc. Even or especially now, so many years after her death. You must, they press on, find closure.

No, friends, the abandoning was complete and it was mutual. I admit that for some, it looks like the easy option. It was my only option.


Ms. Moon said...

I completely understand. I had the best Mother's Day yesterday and it was because (whoa- this sounds so cruel) my mother is gone and I didn't have to spend one second feeling guilt and I felt no regret, either. I am done with that relationship. I always wondered if, after her death, I would have huge regrets and sorrows and the answer so far is NO!
I, like you, have closure. Thank you. And that forgiveness shit? Whatever. I don't get it. Yes. She did the best she could. So did I.
We move on. It is okay.

Fire Bird said...

Amazing photograph. Nothing easy about any of this.