My mom and I have had a tumultuous relationship and I've found myself thinking of her quite a bit as today loomed larger. I didn't send a card. I didn't send flowers or a present. But I will call. Some years I forget to do that...
It's not that I dislike my mother. On the contrary, I love her immensely. I just never know what to say to her. Our lives are polar opposites; we've moved away from each other in such dramatic ways over the years.
I was emancipated - legally - at 16. I got my own apartment and paid my own rent to finish high school. That was when I fully came out as gay. My dad actually took the news better than Mom did - at least at first. They'd been divorced for years - he left on my 10th birthday. Mom freaked out when she found out I was gay.
Fast forward a few years though and look what's happened. Mom would now be a PFLAG parent if there was a chapter close to her. Dad became a Pentecostal. Mom has met every single one of my boyfriends that lasted for any length of time. Dad just met Jerame and our daughter for the first time about three years ago even though Jerame and I are pushing nine years together.
Mom likes to tell a story about her job that I'll relate here before I go hop in the shower before lunch. If Mom finds out you're gay or know someone who is, you can be guaranteed that you'll hear this story...
It seems she was working at a factory when the topic of gays and lesbians came up. The woman working next to her on the line made a comment about how she wouldn't know what to do if one of her kids came out. The woman made several derogatory remarks about the LGBT community until Mom finally lost her cool. She asked the woman, "Would you love your child less? Would you suddenly dislike this child that you carried for 9 months, loved and cherished through to adulthood, and wished for happiness in its life? Would this harden your heart so much that you'd abandon your child to the ugliness that's just come from your mouth? Because my son is gay. And I love him just as much as all of my other children. I'm proud of my son and his life. And you would be too."
Knowing my mom, it was followed up with "Now shut up and go back to work." *grins*
So the circle comes back around. I haven't really talked to Dad since he met Jerame and Paige except for after my grandfather died. He told me a year later. But I don't really talk to Mom that much either. While she's come around on coming out, our lives are separated by so many things that we just don't understand about each other.
The one thing that brings us together is our love for each other. I know Mom is proud of me even though she may not understand my drive. And I'm very impressed with everything that she's weathered through her life - from the Great Depression to the Internet age.
But most of all, I'm proud that she's my mother. I love her very much. And I don't tell her that nearly enough.