Saturday, April 5, 2014

Judy & Jody

I got a call from my aunt this week, telling me that my mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The reason my aunt told me is because my mom and I do not speak and havn't for years.  It seems like that should be against nature - a mother and child not communicating.  I wish it were, anyway.

My mom abandoned her children when we were very young and my dad raised my younger brother and myself.  I've tried having a relationship with my mother since then, as a teenager and then again as an adult but she's a severe alcoholic and made it close to impossible.  I finally gave up in my late 20s.

I thought in the years following, I had sorted out my feeling regarding the entirety of our relationship, or lack thereof.  I've never been afraid to be alone, sit quietly and face the hard stuff in my life, figure out why it happened and find closure.  I have found forgiveness towards my mother based on her own life - she had some truly horrible and tragic things happen when she was young that I believe broke her.

But even forgiving her, I still chose not to be in contact because I knew she was toxic and so would any relationship with her be.  And then I got the call from my aunt saying my mother may have terminal cancer.  That she's had a lump for a long time she's ignored and it may have already spread.

I was sad when I heard and as the day went on, the emotions built.  So did the confusion.  I hadn't expected to feel much of anything when this time came.  My mother is a stranger to me so why would I grieve? 

And yet.. I am.  I'm sad that she will go through something as awful as cancer without many people around that love her.   I'm sad she made decisions in her life to make that a truth.  She's pushed away sisters, friends, children, and grandchildren.

I have realized that while I believed every feeling towards her had gone, there has always been one small flame of hope in my heart that someday my mother would love me, that she would finally want her daughter.  

I wish things were different and that mother and daughter were not 1000 miles and too many burned bridges apart but the truth is, other family members will keep me posted with news of my mother - any surgery needed to remove a lump or her breasts, chemo and radiation, the loss of her hair, remission or how long she has left.  And if she dies, I will do what I thought I had already done a long time ago - miss my mom.