Friday, December 07, 2007


I haven't reached any committee members to talk about this in person yet (I'VE CALLED 5 DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND GOT 5 DIFFERENT VOICEMAILS) which probably means I shouldn't be processing it via blog. Oh well. I'm not all that good with restraint of pen and tongue.

My sister just called. She wanted to tell me that she had lunch with our mother today. Our mother who she hasn't spoken to in 9 years and I haven't spoken to in about 20 (minus telling her I was sorry for her loss when my grandfather died last year). They had lunch because my 10-year old niece Emily said that she only asked Santa for one thing this year...for her mommy and her Nani (my mother) to get back together. Emily sees Nani probably once a week when my brother-in-law Norman takes her and her sister, Madeline, over to visit. Norman manages the relationship between my sister's children and my mother because my sister and my mother don't talk.

My children, on the other hand, do not know or visit their Nani or even receive invitations to visit (or cards, gifts, calls, or even a wave at my grandfather's 90th birthday party last year). My mother has never acknowledged their existence. But, I digress.

When Emily told my mother, her Nani, what she asked Santa for, my mother sent my sister a letter asking if my sister would meet her for lunch. My sister said "yes" and they met. My mother asked my sister why she had so much resentment against her and Laurie told her that, since becoming a mother herself, she had less understanding about how my mother could have been so unavailable and so unprotective and left us in harm's way with my then violent and actively alcoholic father. My mother then recited several examples of the violence she experienced but says she does not remember violence against anyone but her. (She is either lying through her teeth or she has one of the worst cases of denial I've ever seen since I remember her witnessing my own beatings and she, too, was physically abusive on occasion, and verbally and emotionally abusive on a daily basis. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and go with denial.)

My mother then asked what my sister wanted from her. My sister, who I apparently do not give enough credit for her emotional intelligence and maturity, said, "I want you to take responsibility for your part in our terrible childhood. Dad has apologized and accepted responsibility for his part." Shabam. I've spent THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in therapy and I have never said that to my mother. But, once again, I digress.

Then...get this...My mother said, "I'm sorry."

When my sister repeated my mother's words on the phone to me a short time ago, I wanted run outside and see if the sun was still in the sky. It wasn't, but I think that's just because it's a cloudy day and not because the world as I've always known it has ceased to exist.

So, there you are. My mother said "Sorry" to my sister and they made plans for Laurie to bring the girls over to my mother's next week. Laurie said she wants to forgive her. She doesn't think she will be calling her to go shopping but she is not going to NOT BE in a relationship with her anymore.

I told my sister I thought she did a great job. And I meant it. And, with uncharacteristic honesty with myself and with her, I told her I felt a little jealous. She then said, "You never know. You could get a letter next."

I responded that I stopped waiting around for my mother to show up about 10 years ago when it brought me too much misery.

Did I?

1 comment:

  1. Deep down I don't think you did. Regardless of our crapy upbringings we all desire, at the very least, acknowledgement from our parents.