you can't go home again was probably related to my mother.
It's been a very trying and disappointing week. I think I have finally come to the conclusion that, no, my mother and I cannot be friends. We can't be mother and daughter. We aren't even very good at being civil.
I think it is time to say goodbye.
It's never easy to realize that you and your parent aren't cut from the same cloth. My mother and I are not only cut from the same cloth, but we can't even share the same cloth.
"You have to understand the way we were raised," she says to me during a conversation about why she is so selfish. "Your Uncle and I were both raised by people who believed the sun rose and set on their asses. That is why we are the way we are."
"Copout," says CP. "I was raised by someone who was that same way, and I don't believe the sun sets on my ass. I may think the sun SHOULD, but I know it doesn't."
"You know," she says with utter disdain, "you are definately your fathers daughter."
"Thank GOD," I snap back with equal bitterness. "He hated you. Now I know why."
And it's sad, so sad, that a mother and daughter, two women ages 65 and 40 respectively, cannot find some common ground to stand on together.
Earlier this morning, I was picking up my nephews. My mother was getting ready for her Friday beauty parlor appointment.
"I don't want ANY children in this house today while I am getting ready," she barks at me.
"Um, those children to which you refer. Those are your GRANDCHILDREN, correct?"
"Look sister," she says to me, like I am some stranger in the street who stole her parking spot, "if you don't like the rules, there's always a hotel."
"Wow, what a kind thing to say to someone who traveled TWELVE HUNDRED miles to be with you for the holidays."
"Hey," she said flippantly, "I didn't ask you to come."
You know what?
She didn't. She's right.
I was under the impression that my mother would welcome having her daughter, son in law, grandson, grandaughter and her new husband, all under one roof. I know I would relish that, if I were her. I love having my niece and nephews around me. The more children in my home, the better. It's what makes the house a home. A home is nothing more than a skeleton, a piece of framework, until the family living in it gives it the heartbeat.
I won't stop coming to New York. It's my homestate, but apparently, not my home.
But, it is where my husband proposed to me. It is where both of my children were conceived. It is where I met my childhood best friend who is still my best friend to this day. It is where my precious niece and nephews are. It is where I grew up, got my first kiss, wrote my first poem, laughed my first laugh.
It is not, however, where I will shed my last tear.
More than likely, that honor will be given to Florida, my new home. Undoubtably, Esther will be the cause. Without uncertainty, I will allow her under my skin again in approximately four months from now, when the memory of this trip starts to fade. I will miss her. I will call her. I will reach out for a mother. She will let me into her fold long enough to hurt me once again.
"I'll NEVER go there again," I will scream at my husband. He, in turn, will nod his head.
"You don't have to, baby," he will say and in the back of his mind, know that he will be making travel arrangements soon enough. He won't make fun of my decision. Instead, he will feel sorry for me, for being caught in this web...in this vicious cycle.
I wish I had some humorous anecdote about Esther this trip. I don't. Her cruelty and abuse have risen to an all time high.
She walked in here earlier while I was on the computer and kissed my cheek.
"This has been such a wonderful visit," she gushed.
"Absolutely," she replied. "The best one yet."
She left the room.
Apparently, she measures the delight of our visits in my tears. I cried a lot this visit. She ruined a lot of days for me, including my anniversary by not even acknowledging it.
"YOU didn't remember MINE," she said. "And MINE was a 25th anniversary! Much more important than a FOURTH."
"I sent you flowers, threw you a party and flew the whole family in for it," I said quietly.
"YOU didn't do that," she countered. "Your UNCLE did that."
I looked at my husband, mouth agape, eyes bulging. I couldn't even speak.
"Um, no Esther," my husband said, "it was your DAUGHTER who set everything up. Your brother only took care of the New York details because she wasn't there to do it. She invited everyone. She set the whole thing up from Florida."
"Well, I didn't know that," she said.
I sighed. I went up to my room. I cried.
This trip has been a disaster for me. Truth be known, I wish I could turn back time and be in Hawaii right now, like my husband originally wanted. Next year, I listen to him.
Alright. I probably won't. But please, next year at this time? Remind me of this vacation and refer me back to this post.
Consider it a large step in the preservation of my mental health.