August 23, 2004

Going Home

My mom turns 51 today. I surprised her by coming home this weekend. Actually, I flew in on Friday night, my sister and I hung out at her house until 10am on Saturday morning at which time my parents arrived — just in time for lunch. Lunch at 10am? Who are these people?

I had other reasons for coming home. My grandmother has been ill for some time and I want to see her as often as I possible. For me that means once a year but I haven't done so well, I've skipped a few years since I went off to college and I'm trying to do better. My grandmother has lupis, she's gone through some pretty horrible physical aliments from the disease, but she still has three things that have kept her going: her faith in god, her intelligence as a wise woman and love for her family.

My grandmother was the one person I never thought I'd come out to, but thanks to a boyfriend named Brandon, that's all behind me. He inspired me to be honest with her, who knows how long she'd be here? Some people can't come out to their grandparents or even their parents because they're afraid of getting written out of the will. I've never had that problem - my family has always been poor. When I was little, my biggest fear was poverty, I hid my home from my friends and never invited them over on weekends. When I got over that, my life took a big change for the better.

Love I understand, family obligation has been more of a personal challenge for me. In the past, I've never had to worry about family. Everyone could take care of their body and personal space. But as the days go by, I realize that family isn't as physically well off as I believed them to be.

My mom was exercising her arm this morning. She recently had surgery on it, but it lacks range of mobility. For four weeks, she'd had someone drive her around. She seems to enjoy the that part, but the fact is her arm isn't healing.

She made a joke at lunch yesterday, one which I only realized was indeed a joke today. I touched her arm and commented on how solid it was. She replied that it was all muscle. Over the phone a few minutes ago my aunt asked how my mother was feeling. "Fine," I said, then added, "and her arm feels solid, it's so muscular." She just sighed and told me that it's so sad my mother's arm is stiff and she can't use it. I hadn't thought of that before, I just believed my mom when she said she worked out her bad arm. I choked on the next comment into the phone, staring at my mother and finally seeing her fragility. She's a strong woman but my dad's the one taking care of her and the home.

Truthfully, I didn't come come for selfless reasons. Quite the contrary — I came home for complete selfish reasons. I was hoping that this weekend would be my escape. I'm leaving a job I've had for over three and half years, a job where the staff has become my family. I broke up with my boyfriend of almost four years at the the beginning of July. I was feeling alone and lost. I thought home would have been an nice escape from all that. The irony is that visiting my family has forced me to deal with the thought that my family won't be here forever. Soon, I won't be able to come home anymore.

I don't have a husband or a family of my own. I have amazing friends that love me and care for me, I'm thankful for that. But life isn't so easy and it hurts.

I still have three hours with my family. I'm going to spend them wisely by enjoying their company and telling them how I feel about them.


Blogger « groeg » said...

Life is never what it was advertised to be. I'm sorry you're going through such crap at the moment -but transition leads to improvement. *(with the exception of family declination)...

I recently went to my mother's 60'th b-day a few weeks ago and was faced with the gaping and ever-widening rift between us -something I need to fix before it's too late and I turn into my relatives *(at the funeral of their abusive father).

I think the ultimate problem with humanity is that we are disconnected unnecessarily -disconnected from others and from ourselves. It is this effort to find and connect with others in our world that gives us purpose. People are here for you if you need them.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post was very profound and sweet. I am glad I found it. We are already going through LT withdrawls at the old office.

Change is good- it beats the options.

12:51 PM  
Blogger S said...

hey there-- nice to meet you (and see your comment on my blog). I read this and thought a lot about where I'm at with my mom: we don't get along, but she has serious health problems, and I'm constantly torn between not wanting to talk to her, and wanting to hug her and tell her how much I love her despite everything else and how I care about her. your entry made me think a lot about that...

my friends are my close family. I have a core group of guys (and one phenominal lesbian!) that I am much closer to than I ever have been to my father or mother (and I have no siblings). I like the idea of being able to choose your own family: they fulfill that role.

but I still wish I could have something with my mother. you know, she's my mother!

it's awesome that she's there for you. I think you know that. and that you are there for her... that makes me feel good. maybe it gives me hope for my own fractured mother/son relationship.

hang in there...

11:42 PM  

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