Saturday, August 4, 2012

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Elation & Disappointment

It always amazes me how a particular situation or moment can make a person feel conflicting emotions. How, for instance, you can feel happy about a new beginning but sad about the ending of what comes before that new beginning. My sister is pregnant. She has been pregnant and today was her baby shower. I have been happy for her and so excited about meeting my niece but I've also been worried about her. Being a parent is hard and I don't want her to suffer. If there were a way to ease a person into parenthood I would make sure she knew about it. I hadn't shared her pregnancy on here before because of selfish reasons: acknowledging her pregnancy on here felt like acknowledging the fact that the day was nearing when I would see my mother again.

It's been almost two and a half years since I have seen or spoken to my mother. Two and a half years of her missing out and choosing not to participate in the lives of her granddaughters. Right now, there is no greater insult to me than not acknowledging the existence of my daughters. These sweet, precious, innocent, miraculous children have turned my world upside down and changed me to the core. They are everything to me so it's hard to understand how they can mean so little to someone like a grandmother. The road that led to how things are today is one that's full of tears, pain, and scars. When the fallout happened I was angry and hurt; is the love for a daughter and granddaughter not enough to accept the relationship between that daughter and her father? As the months passed by and Cati reached milestone moments (both birthdays in particular ) that were ignored, the hurt and anger subsided and turned into resignation (ok, she really doesn't care) and indignation (if she cares so little then she doesn't even deserve to know them). But, despite the feeling, there has always been anxiety lurking. Surely, we can't continue to spin in our own little worlds without ever crashing into one another. And when we crash, what will happen? Will all the scabbed over wounds reopen and let old hurts pour out? Would those hurts be even more painful because of the years of silence?

I knew my sister still spoke to my mother. I guess she's a better person than I am because she's put up with more from my mother than I would have tolerated. Every time my sister called me with another story of heartbreak caused by our mother I was dumbfounded. How can that women still be capable of disappointing after so many years of disappointment? More importantly, how can my sister still handle the disappointment? I would be angry for my sister, angry at my mother, and sad that a mother-daughter relationship could be so empty. And so when I found out my sister was pregnant I knew it was her little world, the world that's part of both my world and our mother's world, that would set us on the path of contact. I didn't want to acknowledge the inevitable confrontation because I wanted to be happy for my sister. This is, after all, her moment; her moment to give life and experience the beauty of becoming a mother. I tried to not think about the woman that has filled so many hours of my life with sadness but as the baby shower drew nearer I knew I had to think about the reality of seeing her again.

I mentally prepared as much as I could. I told myself to put my sister front and center and to focus on her. I can be civil or at least I can try for the sake of my sister. However, she didn't show up today, even after saying she would. My anxiety over seeing her was dulled because, again, my sister was disappointed with something our mother didn't do. The look of resignation on her face when she accepted that our mother wasn't coming is one I wish she never had to wear. In that instant I wished our mother would have shown up. I wished it with all my heart. I wished that in that moment of celebrating the life that's growing inside her, my sister didn't also have to feel like her mother didn't care. The elation over expecting and becoming a mother was mixed with the disappointment that your own mother isn't there celebrating the amazing changes that lay ahead of you. There are so many things I wish I could protect my sister from. My path to motherhood was hard because I was dealing with the loss of my own mother and I don't want that to happen to my sister. I missed out on so much joy because when I should have been celebrating the beginning of my daughter's life I was also mourning the ending of my relationship with my mother.

Today, right now, I am angry. Every person deserves a mother who loves them. No one deserves a mother who chooses to withhold that love. Life is full of disappointment but one should never be disappointed by the person who should be the one person who loves you without conditions, limitations, or restraints. Regardless of the obstacles or who's present, a parent should never choose to not be a part of something that means everything to their child. Now I hope our worlds collide just so I can say, "You've ruined it for me but don't ruin it for the the child who still has hope for you."

1 comment:

Desi said...

Wow that's deep. I'm sorry that your relationship with your mom is strained. Do you think you will ever be able to have a good relationship? I have similar issues with my dad, though I haven't stopped talking to him. However I refuse to be a part of his shenanigans anymore. Thank God my mom is the great mom she is. I hope you have a dad that can fill that spot. You will be for Cati and Elina what your mother isn't for you, and so will your sis I'm sure.