Mom and I talked last Wednesday about the upcoming details of my visit. I interrupted her watching a show about the Alps and like myself she’s a lover of the mountains. She seemed a little agitated but also stated that the connection was not the best and that she had trouble understand what I was saying. So the tension could have stemmed from that. We barely got the conversation started as it took a turn for the worse. The turning point was once she found out that I wouldn’t come home to stay. Things got out of hand and ugly, a relapse in the behavior I have come to known from her so well in all the years I have been gone. There it was again, the reminder that she truly never has forgiven me for leaving her behind. It turned into blame, a lecture, disapproval, a difference in opinion and the disagreement between the life my Mother sees fit for me and the life I actually live and see for myself. I understand that she might not always agree with me, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be respectful of each other and try to value the choices we each have made. In the end we have to do what we see right for ourselves as we go about our daily business. I don’t think me Mom ever allowed herself that kind of freedom and her life has always been influenced by what others think or say. I’m the opposite but know that her way is the only thing she knows and she is expecting me to follow the same steps. Therefore disagreements always ends with things that don’t need to be said and I’m always the one to give in and to mend the situation. You know what they say “The smarter one gives in”. Ha, but somehow it’s missing the fun in this case and wasn’t all that hilarious at all. She ended up hanging up on me. Again…not that it would have been the first time she has done this. Such rudeness, as I now joke about it, but there is a point to it and it is how I feel. I was mad at her and disappointed at the same time, I feared that we would waste quality time spent together trying to overcome her stubbornness like we have in the past. She is without a doubt the most stubborn person I know and I say this in the most loving way that I’m glad that I did not inherit any of that. None, not a shred of it, thank goodness. I still don’t see what good comes from fighting, holding grudges and pouting until it is decided that the other one is worthy so we can put the argument aside. Talk about it and get it over with, don’t hold on to it, you may miss a chance to make it right. I had to let off a little steam and put my thoughts into a blog post that is now entirely rewritten, with most of the prior content erased. It bothered me and I made it a point to call her the next morning. We had a better conversation and she understood that it is not that all that easy to just move from one country to another. To dodge the obligations and start a new life at the age where you should think of retirement and slowing down a bit.
In hindsight I know that her feelings got hurt, that her hopes got crushed, that she wants me there even though she struggles to voice it to my face. The second call, the day after made it more obvious that she is worried and needs help. Perhaps it was the first time she showed a more vulnerable side to herself and immediately I sympathized and felt compassion for her. I know that she’s afraid of the things that need attention, things in the house that she can no longer do because of her health and simply due to old age. The cleanliness of it falls into this category I would imagine and she said that somehow water entered into the cellar from prior storms. It’s impossible for her to mop it up and carry the heavy bucket. Finally a civilized conversation and all this was hard to remember during our first conversation when there is absolute no reasoning with her. None of this information surfaced until the second call and after she had a chance to calm herself and get grasp on whatever it was she felt so upset about. In my opinion it could have been avoided, but I know now that the news of a non permanent stay probably brought on all kinds of emotions. She can’t rationalize it and instead has no problems verbalizing what she considers to be my mistakes, blaming me for making the wrong choices. In her mind.
With a few days past now, it’s almost comical as well as baffling to me that I have learned to accept all the things in my life, good and bad while realizing that all brought lessons and shaped me into the person I am. Apparently my mother has not come to accept the same and it’s hard not to take it as an insult on my character, feeling that she is not ok with how I turned out to be. I’m not sure but there is a good chance that she will let me hear it for the rest of her life. Most likely every time she gets angry at me. What’s even more bizarre is that she has never come to visit me but has a very strong opinion about my life and what is going on.
But for now all is well again and I will go home in the hopes of finding some solutions to her well being and the future. I hope to build onto the relationship we started to nourish towards each other in 2015 and to become closer in our Mother-Daughter relationship once again.