So this is, like most of what I do, a day late and a dollar short. Anyway, I wanted to write something about and for the beautiful woman who brought me into this world. We have not always had the eaiest relationship, many years of it have been tumultuous at best, but I love her with every fiber of my being.
As I have gotten older, as I have had children of my own, I understand that as a mother we sacrifice everything for our children. When my father died she was not able to take time toGrieve properly. She put eeverything that she had inside of her, to take care of my sister and I. Sometimes she would snap. Sometimes she would zap out. At the time, I would be angry that I was left to calm down and care for my little sister. Now as a mother of teo chikdren, I get it.
She had a year or so before my father past, while he was dying of lung cancer, where she had to take care of a 5 year old, a 10 year old, and a husband that went from a strong man, a man’s man, to not even being able to walk. It was nice just the physical deterioration that she was forced to deal with, either. He was so heavily medicated that he became an entirely different person. He hallucinated all the time. He often thought that our house was some sort of war zonem and that my mom was in charge of the opposition. Honestly, I can not even begin to imagine the heartbreak that most go with caring for a person that in no way resembles the person that you married. My mother, though, she never complained. She was a soldier the whole time. She continued to work, and she took on the extra responsibility of my father’s health problems.
When he died, she tried her hardest to make sure that we were ok. She took no time for herself. She never remarried, hardly ever dated. It was just me and my sister. She did everything on her own. She drilled into my head, that the worst thing in the world is to have people pity you. Honestly, she may have taken this a little too far, but I learned how to be a strong woman watching her refudal to ask anyone for help ever.
I was a child and had no idea how much weight was instantly thrust upon her shoulders. She worked full time, she took care of us. She made ssure that we never had to move out of the house that my dad had built a massive addition on to. We were able to live in his place of handiwork.
My mom, used to tell us stories about her hippy days. She saw the Beatles, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hanncock, and many others. She would talk about going to Mowtown concerts that would have all the greats. She went tothe fampus Monterey IInternational Pop Festival. She instilled in me a love of music. One time when I got stoned with her, she sat there and stared at the radio saying that she was “watching the music”. She played Michael Jackson, and the Four Tops, and Linda Ronstead, and the Beatles. She took me to a Prince concert when I was 2 years old. I learned from her just how powerfully music can affect your mood, your entire being. She is the reason that I wanted to become a music executive.
As I previously stated, my mom was a full fledged hippy in her youth, her twenties. She taught my sister and I to love everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, economic status. She showed us the injustices in the world. She explained how fucked up this world was. She told us about the Veitnam protests. She shared stories about the civil rights movement.
My grandfather fought in World War II as a Marine and received two Purple Hearts. After he left the Marines, he went into the CIA. He was like three people from the top dog, and his job entailed that him, my grandmother, my mom and her two sisters and four brothers move all over the world. My sister and I would listen intently as my mom told us stories of living inside the Berlin Wall. Of moving into a house in Japan that came with a chef, a maid, and a nanny. We would revel in the fact that her entire family had to use false identities for every new country they went to. We lostened to the fascinating story of how their true identies were discovered in Japan and they had to leave right away without packing or daying goodbye to anyone. I woukd jealousy ask about her times in Spain and Paris.
I learned what a feminist was from my mom. She (and then Courtney Love) sparked what would be a life long love of feminism. She showed me what a REAL feminist is, hot the stereotypes. We are not ball busting, man hating, dykes. We are just women that want to be treated the same as men. My mom never asked for special treatment because she was a single mother, a widow. She got fucked over at work, amking less then men that had the same position as her even though she worked twice as hard and was twice as good. She always had some asshole trying to rip her off because she was a woman. Mechanics, plummers, electricians, really anyone that came to fix something at the house. She didn’t complain, she just started having one of her brothers with her when getting estimates. She never wanted pity, she figured out how to deal with a fucked up situation the best that she could.
What I am trying to say is that as a child I had no idea, not even the slightest inkling of how much she was dealing with. I would see her freak out at my little sister and I, telling us that she couldn’t take it anymore, that she was leaving forever, get in her car and leave, and be furious. I would think that she was being so selfish. I didn’t understand how much of her own happiness she had sacrificed for us. She didn’t grieve the way she needed to because she was trying to keep our lives as normal as possible. Sometimes it was just too much and she would snap. I get it now. After years of putting my mother through hell, of refusing to forgive her for mistakes that she made, I get it. I grew up, I had kids, I stopped being a fucking selfish brat. I look at my kids, and I see how much she gave up, how hard she worked. She kept our lives as normal as possible after the death of my dad. She bought us nice clothes, she took us on vacations, she kept us in the h I use that my dad built. She did her best to keep us happy. When I went through my struggles with addiction, my mom never gave up on me. She supported me time and time again. Her love knew no limits, and I am almost positive that her love and support is part of the reason that I made it through to the other side alive. For that, and for everything, Mom, I love you. Now and forever.