Monday, December 7, 2009
Today was a frustrating day - as a matter of fact, I probably shouldn't even be writing this blog right now, but as of late I've felt guilty for not writing more. I went to Florida to visit my mother's side of the family. This usually screws me up for weeks. That sounds weird I know. It seems like I'd come back feeling better for having been down there to see everyone, and in many ways I am very glad I went, but old habits and feelings die hard I suppose. When I was a kid I looked forward to going down there. It gave me a break from the hum-drum routine of my childhood in the Georgia country, and provided me an opportunity to see my mother, which I coveted immensely. I used to believe that if my mother would just come back to Georgia and live near me that all my problems would be solved. I never wanted my parents to "get back together" because I couldn't even remember what that was like to begin with, but I did want my mother to be in my life more. But that wasn't the plan for my life I guess. So about once a year, and sometimes less often, I'd go down to Jacksonville for a week and try to pack all I could into those visits. I love my family in Florida. I really do. And that's the very reason it hurts to see them still. Because I wish that I could have loved them more all along. I wish I could have spent real time with them. I wish my mother could have been a mother to me for all those years. But she simply couldn't. I forgive her for that but still cannot shake the dull ache that surfaces when I drive down, but most especially when I drive back.
I've noticed something. In the hustle of everyday life, of trying to make ends meet, of trying to raise my child - I sometimes forget the power that comes with adulthood. I'm free to go down anytime I want. I am free to write cards, send emails, have relationships now that I couldn't have before when I was only 6 hours yet an eternity away. I was young and I didn't understand. My father wasn't crazy about me getting attached to my mother, and all that came with her. He had his reasons. In some sense, time healed this wound. My mother will never be the one I wanted when I was small, but everyone else is still right where they always were - and even my mother is harmless now. I want my daughter to know them better than I ever did. Our family is our family. It's no accident the way our lives unfold...things happen they way they should when they are supposed to happen. You're a grown up when you can see that for what it is without throwing a tantrum. I love these guys too.