Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On Your Mother's Side

Early this morning, I went to have standard medical tests done, no biggy. Readers, if you have ta-tas, make sure that you do the right thing and have the 'girls' tested regularly. Men, make sure your women do.

At any rate, while completing the usual history questions, the tech asked, "And, how about on your mother's side?" I never, never have an answer to that one. I'm sure the blank look on my face would make them wonder. Good thing they're generally too wrapped up in their paper work to see my struggle to answer that simple question, "on your mother's side..."

The facts are these: I could have been hatched for all I know. I never met my mother so far as I can tell. Wouldn't have known her if we passed on the street. Couldn't tell you what her voice was like; what color her eyes may have been. Except for a few random photos that survived the purge, I wouldn't be able to tell you what she looked like. Not sure much about her at all. Norma left when I was 18 months old. I desperately hoped, until she died when I was about 17, but I never got a card, a call, a letter, a visit. Nothing.

Norma had three children- one from each marriage. Glenn and I are very close; there's a younger half-sister somewhere. I've never met her. At this point, the fact that I haven't doesn't make a difference. As her middle child, I'm the kid that Norma forgot. My brother had the opportunity to know her some and the youngest was living with her when mom died. Me? Nothing is there for me.

Neither did I know my mother's side of the family. When she left, that part evaporated with her. Or, perhaps it was how my father controlled things in the wake of damage done. I did get to know my grandmother very briefly before she died. But, I was too young and not open to trying.

I went through most of life not trusting women because of this lack of a key relationship. Thankfully, I began meeting wonderful women who, through their acts of generosity and love, taught me the value and necessity of feminine energy. Through them, I've learned to embrace the glorious parts of being a woman. To all, I owe a debt of gratitude.

When I began trusting women, I also began to sense a change in my stand on Norma and her lack of ability to be a mother. I used to be dark and moody when I thought of her. The phrase, "I've known cats who were better mothers," easily came to mind. When I considered her at all, which I attempted to hold to a minimum, it would race from tears to, 'Screw you, Norma! If you don't want me, I sure the hell don't need you!!!"

I'm not sure what happened; one day, I realized that the only one who was hurting was me. Why was I missing someone I didn't even know? She's dead! There's no hope for anything now- she's got no worries and not feeling badly about her decisions as they relate to me. Just me feeling bad alone didn't seem to make much sense. So, I shifted over time into a neutral space when it came to mother. A live and let live sort of thing.

As I deepened my quest to know Spirit and who I am as a spiritual being, feelings about Norma kept bubbling up to be healed. Now I am able to see her as the troubled individual she was. I am able to feel compassion, if not love. I'm astounded by how young she was when she was married, with two children, to a very crippled man. Even more alarming, she was a teenager when married the first time to Glenn's father.

I consider the creativity she possessed. The wild nature that couldn't be tamed. The artist spark. The crazed woman who self-medicated with alcohol. The stunningly pretty woman whose sad eyes I share. The one who spent her life lost and searching so hard for something she could not name.

I also know now, with a bit of life experience, that there are always two sides to every story. And, the truth lies some place in between. You know how much I respect my father; I still maintain his view of the experience of being married for less than two years to Norma is accurate. I admire him for not sharing the horror stories or deliberately attempting to sway my opinion until I was old enough to hear some of it.

When you live with one who has saved you, it's natural to see life from their perspective. But, now without feeling disloyal I ponder, how much might Dad have prevented Norma from contacting me? How far will a parent go to protect or insulate their child from emotional hurt? I'll never know. And, without knowing, I can't be certain how my mother felt about leaving me or if she felt the loss of me. Without knowing, I find I cannot judge her- anymore.

I no longer accept, without question, the saga of Norma through Dad's view. I have to form my own opinion of it all. And, my opinion is that Norma was not a good mother or wife. Norma was a confused spirit who hurt the ones who tried to love her as she smashed through life. Along with all of that, she was also my portal of entry into life. I owe her respect and thanks, if nothing more.

I can't say I will ever understand feeling love for a mother; I know I'll never experience the gift of a mother's love for me. At least, not in this life time. Still, I can't say why- perhaps it's the time of year when the beauty of the story of one particular Mother & Child is so often brought to my awareness. For whatever reason, at this time of year more than any other, I'm able to say without being pained, "Sleep in heavenly peace, Norma...Sleep in heavenly peace, Mom."

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Norma's Daughter

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