Monday, December 13, 2010

I remember Mama...

I am not one of those people who immediately, upon the death of a loved one, make them into a saint.  I remember my departed loved ones quite honestly.  I have been doing the same throughout the weekend with my memories of my Mama.  We had such a turbulent, conflicted, not always pleasant relationship. But there were other times that we had such a great time together, really enjoyed each other's company.  Lots of times we had fun, laughed, acted silly, & just hung out.

In the words of Maya Angelou "We do the best we can & when we know better we do better".  That pretty much sums it up.  Mama did the best she knew how when I was growing up & when she knew better she did better with me.  But it took us years to come to being comfortable as mother & daughter.  She was always amazed when she would find out that I didn't know something.  Like the fact she thought I was pretty.  She never told me that until a few years ago.  She "thought" I knew.  She also thought I knew,without her telling me, that I was smart, she was proud of me, & that she loved me.  Well, guess what, I did not know those things.  That is why it is so special to me that I was the last person she spoke to & that those words were "bye bye" "I love you".  I think she came back just so I could hear those words, & could know without a doubt that my Mama loved me. 

We went almost 20 yrs without really speaking & never seeing each other.  I would always call during the Holidays & her birthday.  She never called me.  Never knew until it was all over how abusive my 2nd marriage was & how I had self-medicated.  She always refused to believe I was an alcoholic/addict.  She never saw me that way & for my Mama who always wanted everything to be perfect she had to believe it was not that way.  She had a vision of me that was impossible for me to live up to, but in these last 10 or so years she had come to appreciate the woman I have evolved into.  The belief system I have, the values I cherish, the strength & get it done attitude I have adopted.  I heard her tell one of her friends one day "We'll ask Donis, she always knows what to do & she will know how to solve this"  High compliment indeed.

I have been known in my family as "Wild Child" for a very long time because I was the adventurous one -the one with the gypsy soul.  The one who could just pack up the car & move across the Country on a whim because it sounded like fun or because whereever I was just wasn't working for me.   I think that independence both awed & scared my Mama.  I think she would have liked to have had the adventures I had, but I think that my having those adventures scared the hell out of her, for me. 

But in the end, I came back to Oklahoma.  Came home to take care of  Mama, but then took care of my brother instead.  Now I have honored Mama's final requests, carried out her final wishes.  Took care of business just as she knew I would when she gave me the instructions over & over.  Knew I would make sure the doctors did not prolong her life artificially.  Knew I would voice her wishes & carry them out.  Knew I had the strength to do it all.  Knew I could do her funeral service.  And I did it all.  Because Mama knew I would.

Several months ago I said to a friend "I'm here because I will have to take care of Mama at some point.  When she is gone there will be nothing to keep me here & I will move on with my life somewhere else.  Maybe I will return to Seattle or move to Florida.  Who knows."  Well, I love my job.  I love my house.  I have a life here that works for me.  So, I am after all, an Oklahoma Girl.  And it appears that here is where I will stay.  I still have a gypsy soul but my adventures will keep me closer to my roots for now.

I will continue to remember Mama.  Tonight I almost called her then remembered that I couldn't.  I don't imagine that will be the last time this happens. 

~~blessed be... 


Prairiemaid said...

Sorry to hear about your mother. I know what you are going through. Mom died in 2003. There are days when something happens and I think, I need to tell Mom.

Not sure if that ever stops.

Prayers & blessings,

Territory Mom said...

This is beautiful. I admire someone so adventurous. We can all have a gypsy spirit via the internet. Your mama is proud of you.

Denise G said...

So sorry for your loss! My brother just passed away in August and it is difficult because he lived here with me and my parents. Right now my mom is now well at all. It is so hard trying to deal with everything. I am sending good thoughts your way!!

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