“You know, he’s kind of stingy.” She said.
I responded, “Stingy? He gives you $100 and buys you expensive purses that you request. How is that stingy?”
There I was concerned that my little cards and thoughtful gifts (the bread pudding, the pound cake, the measly $25 gift card at her favorite store) wouldn’t stand a chance, and it didn’t. However, not only did mine not stand chance, not even the favorites gave good enough gifts. Truly, some are never satisfied and it’s because they don’t practice gratitude unless they are in some tragic situation and their life is saved or they are ill and they feel better. Then it seems to dissipate into thin air after the threat of death no longer looms or the sign of illness subsides.
That was earlier this week. On Mother’s Day I called to ask if they needed me to pick up any food on the way home from church and she said no. However, she forgot to hang up the phone and boy, did I get an earful of what I didn’t do such as, “She NEVER asks if anyone wants anything when she goes out.” I responded, “HEY! I can still hear you! And why do you think I called? Also, I think I call you anytime I am going to the grocery store or making runs in the vicinity of places you like to go. I think I drove you to Walgreens yesterday and all the way to Southaven and back while not feeling well. Enjoy the rest of your Mother’s Day.”
As photos float across social media and people honor their mothers that possibly have the parent-child connection my daughter and I have, I try not to envy that. I try not to wonder how that feels. Instead, I hit the heart button and make comments to celebrate their relationship. It’s difficult when I go to pick out a card because not many match my experience or my feelings. I did learn to be a good housekeeper. I did learn to be a good cook. I did develop a love for fashion from my mom. I did learn some driving techniques and skills. We were well fed, well clothed, and taken care of. I do remember learning to sew and her making doll clothes for my dolls. I do remember getting my hair washed and pressed. I am sure there is love. I am sure there is care. But there is not a connection.
So, how does one refocus after hearing their parent talk about them. Well, it’s not the first time I have overheard a conversation about me where she forgot to hang up the phone. I have actually been told many things about myself when I was younger and I couldn’t not respond or defend myself because well, in my community, you don’t talk back. You internalize those things with your thoughts. As I drove to pick up food for my daughter and I, I took several deep breaths. I felt sadness looming after having such a wonderful morning of Mother’s Day wishes and gifts. I talked to God. Out loud in my car.
“If I have to come back, or if we can come back to earth, I am NOT coming back to parents or a parent that cannot parent me properly. Write that down. Roll tape of me saying this. I am not coming back to an emotionally and mentally abusive parent that has issues within themselves they cannot recognize or get help for. I have had enough to deal with and heal from to last 46 years. I’ve got to really remove myself from this toxic connection.”
I enjoyed my meal with my daughter. I looked over all of the wonderful cards and gifts that mean the world to me because someone thought of me. Flowers, which I love. Meaningful cards. $5 (yes because I think things like it’s $5 for Dollar Tree or a Milkshake lol). A lovely coffee mug because we all know I love coffee. A fan to add to my collection. A 49ers hat! A windchime. A bottle of wine that I enjoy. Things that don’t cost much but, are symbols that one was THOUGHT of. People spent the money they had to make you smile and to show their appreciation for your presence. I watched Julia and Julie, Eat Love Pray, and I went to bed. I enjoyed my morning, made it through that mid afternoon bull, and blossomed the rest of the evening. I slept well.