Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A Daddy's Girl... and what happens when he's gone.
Anyway, the whole reason for this little story is the other story I am about to tell...
My dad has been gone for many years now. My mom instantly became a very independent woman, especially considering she had been married for almost every minute of her adult life. She suddenly was on her own and responsible for everything, buying her home, her car and taking care of all the little stuff too. In the beginning it was great, we only saw each other every week or two, we talked every day but that was it. Then about 4 years ago my mom's doctor told her that she really shouldn't be living on her own, that her health was getting worse and if she had the option of living with her daughter that maybe she should consider it. Hmmm.... so this is where it all changed.
My mom sold her house and put the money into building a guest house onto our home. It was really cute and it was in front of our house so it was really kind of like we were neighbors. She came and went as she pleased, often times without us even knowing that she was gone. We got along pretty well at this point and she was still pretty independent just a little slower moving than she once was.
Two years after she built the guest house we decided we wanted to move. We found a house that had an even nicer guest house but this time it was in the back. My mom's health had gotten much worse at this point and the move was very hard on her. I felt horrible, like I was causing her to deteriorate just because I had a need to have a bigger home. We started arguing ALOT more. It was getting harder and harder to have a conversation with her without feeling like I had to run out of the room before I absolutely lost my mind.
She is a very tough lady, she doesn't have a filter, in other words, if she feels it-she says it, even if it's hurtful. Even if it's offensive. It makes me crazy.
We have been in the house for two and half years now and her health has gotten increasingly worse as time has gone on. I am now completely responsible for everything she does. She no longer drives, I take care of everything, which is exactly what I pictured myself doing for my dad someday... ironic right? Irony or retribution? Who knows. All I know is that no matter how offended I get, how hurt my kids feelings get or how crazy she makes me she is still my mom. I am going to be 41 years old next week and I am still learning every day how to be a better daughter to my mom. I am learning patience.
Today I had a friend tell me that the older I get the more I sound like her. That? freaked me out so bad, I cannot get it out of my head. I am obsessing over it. I do not want to offend people and I certainly do not want anybody to think that I don't have a filter or that I don't take people's feelings into consideration. I feel like I strive to do the exact opposite, I go out of my way to make sure people's feelings aren't hurt. I do however always stand up for what I believe in and make sure my voice is heard when I feel something is truly important. I will never, ever stand in the back of a crowded room and just shake my head when I disagree with something, I will not ever speak ill of someone and then turn around and act as their friend. Some people might think these things are cold hearted (which my mom has been accused of being) but I just feel like I have integrity and am being honest. I make an effort every day to be the best person I can be. I am passionate, opinionated and honest, if those things make me act like my mom, well then so be it.
I realize now that my mom has a lot of great qualities, she is patient, she has lived through so many heartbreaks, given up a son and buried 3 of her own children and was so strong through it all. I admire these things about her. She stands up for what she believes in and she really is my biggest fan even though sometimes it feels like she is always judging me, my appearance and my attitude. I know she loves me and I really do love her. This doesn't mean I don't miss my dad, it just means that had it gone the other way if he would have lived and she was gone I wouldn't have had the chance to learn to understand my mom the way I do now.