Sunday, May 9, 2010

Am I my mother?

Rock StarImage by Andrea Hughes via Flickr
Sometimes when I catch myself in the mirror, I feel like I'm looking at my mom.

She's been gone nine years now. We had a long distance relationship for all of my adult life. I had a six month old baby whom she had yet to meet when she died unexpectedly.

We had turned that odd parent/child corner where I worried more about her than she did about me. She was a breast cancer survivor. The treatment had left her with diabetes. She still drank. We don't know why she died. Could have been the alcohol, could have been allergies to mold in her condo.

Mom was the most successful practioner of denial I ever met. She lived beyond her means. She never had a real job, though she dabbled in a few pyramid schemes. Her career was as an army wife. She was good at it, too. When it ended in divorce afer 30 years she couldn't or wouldn't submit to the structure of a regular job. She was an artist, and a free spirit. She couldn't pay her taxes on time, so she didn't. She figured something would happen to make it all right. And as often as not, something or someone would rescue her.

So how did straight-A, rule-following, structured me turn into somebody with a $20K overdue tax bill?

The apple falls not far from the tree?

Except I know that I'm the only one piloting the rescue chopper in my life.

Miss you mom. Wish you could see how much your grandchildren are like you. Prissy wants to be an artist. Paul is learning to play the guitar. They both love to sing as you did.

Hope you are happy. I'm working on it.

Would that we could take the best parts of our parents and leave the rest.

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