Two Years

It’s two years today since my mom died.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.  Not an hour that I don’t think of her.  I wish things had gone differently.  I wish she had recovered.  Sigh.

I was thinking about her today, about what she might like to do if she were here.  One thing she loved about living in California was the produce, the variety of ethnic restaurants, and the beautiful springtime flowers.  OK, that’s three things.  So I decided to go to our neighboring town, which has a Tuesday Farmers’ Market, and check out the produce.  I was spurred not only by her, but also because a friend brought some gorgeous strawberries to our house on Sunday, and I was like, wow, what a difference between these and what I get at the grocery store.  And of course, she got them at the Farmers’ Market.  So I got some strawberries, some apricots, and some nectarines and peaches.  Seems kinda early for nectarines and peaches, but maybe that’s just because the spring has been a cold one, and it doesn’t seem like mid-June yet.  If my mom were here, we’d talk about that.  She’d remember when she was growing up in the Central Valley, and the fruits weren’t bred to come earlier or later or whatever, and she’d tell me about her grandfather’s orchard, and how he grew the best fruits and vegetables, how she loved going around the farms with him.  He was hired by the irrigation district to control the water, and would go from farm to farm turning the water on and off for the farmers.  So even though he didn’t have a big farm, just a small orchard, he knew a lot of farmers, and they were friends, and they would give him some of whatever they were growing.  My grandma says that they didn’t really know much about the Depression going on around them, because they grew so much of their own food, and his job didn’t dry up.   Yes, they read about things, and they heard things, but farmers are pretty poor to begin with, so it wasn’t as though they had been living the high life of investors and millionaires and then crashed down.

I was talking to my dad the other night, and he was telling me about some books that he liked.  Mysteries.  He was telling me about his favorite characters, and how when the author carries one character from book to book, you start to feel like you know them.  And then the author gets old and dies, and you feel like the characters have died, too.  And it reminded me of how my mom and I used to talk on the phone, and she would tell me about her favorite books, and bore the crap out of me, because I’m not really interested in Mysteries (unless they’re Dick Francis, because they have horses), and too much detail can just kill you.  My dad didn’t go into that much detail, didn’t bore the crap out of me.  I miss being bored the crap out of sometimes.  Sigh.   But I am very thankful to have my dad.  Thankful that my mom got us together all those years ago, so I’m not an orphan now.  I wonder if Richard feels like an orphan sometimes, since he hasn’t met his father.  I’ll tell you, there’s something to be said for getting married and having kids and being a bit more traditional.  Of course, that’s no real protection against being an orphan.  But at least knowing both parents is a plus.

I thought about calling my Grandma.  I can’t do it.  I didn’t call her on my mom’s birthday, either.  And she didn’t call me.  I suspect we both can’t do it.  It’s too hard.  I didn’t call Richard, though I did email him.  Maybe I would have emailed Grandma, but she “doesn’t understand computers”, as she says.  Sigh again.  I’m tired of missing my mom, even though half the time she drove me nuts, especially those last months, when she was feeling like crap, and her consideration for others kinda went to pot.  Even though there was that, I still miss her.  And from what I hear from others who have lost a loved one, I always will.  Sigh.

This entry was posted in Mom.

9 thoughts on “Two Years

  1. Maybe we should trade each other a couple of phone numbers. You could give me your dad’s and I could give you my mom’s. I miss my dad, and you miss your mom. My mother bores the hell out of me on the phone, and if your dad likes to talk a bit about politics or history or The War (doesn’t matter which one), it might end up being a pretty good trade for us both.

    I’m sorry you’re blue, J. Sigh. I know how you feel.

  2. It’s so hard to believe that it’s been 2 years already. I’ve obviously been reading your blog for some time now. It’s been 5 years now since my Mom left and I miss her but the painful feeling is gone. It’s more of a longing now.

  3. My sister and I talked on the 2 year anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I definitely thought about him that day and prayed that God would let him know that. The day we found out about our boys, I had an instinct to call my Dad to share the big news about him, but I couldn’t. Those are the times I miss my Dad the most…when I want to share news or talk about current events etc.

    Sending you a big hug, my friend.

  4. You know…I read stuff like this and it really makes me think. My mom did the best she could with the tools she had, but she definitely screwed up in some major areas. My dad came from an abusive home and didn’t take an interest in us until we were grown and married. Mom spent our childhoods trying to explain how our dad really loved us and yet had a hard time showing us. But she also taught us–by example–to take a lot of crap off of people and say nothing about it. Why am I telling you all this?

    Because it has made me bitter. My dad is a different person now, but my mother has rewritten history as far as our past goes. In many ways, it is hard for her to reconcile that our childhoods could have been happier and weren’t, but she won’t go as far as to say that they are responsible for it.

    This has colored the relationship we have. My parents are in their mid-70s now and I see them age and know that they won’t always be around. I know that one day I’ll be ready to talk about pointless crap and it will be too late. I want to get past all of this and have even tried counseling, but it’s my mother who has the hardest time dealing with reality. I’m interested in having a REAL relationship with her, but not at the expense of reality. I can’t pretend that my parents deserve the Parent of the Century award…because they don’t. But I also know that I’m wasting valuable time “camping” on their obvious flaws. Time is short and I know this. Your post really rings true.

    • Apathy Lounge, my mom actually had a semi-similar experience with her childhood. Her step-father made everyone miserable, her mother made excuses. My mom thought that she would never have a decent relationship with my grandma, until one day they really talked about it, and my grandma apologized, and said that she wished she could have done better. My mom knew she could have done better at least 100 different ways, but she also saw that my grandma really didn’t see that, that she had in fact done the best she knew how. Knowing that deep down repaired so much of their relationship. I wonder if, when you say your mom did her best, you don’t believe that. Or if maybe you need to hear that she’s sorry.

      Either way, I’m sorry that your childhood was like that. It’s not fair and it sucks. My mom was awesome and amazing, and also flawed and frustrating, and it really does help to try to see that she did her best, one day at a time, without the benefit of a big picture. I hope one day, my daughter can give me that same grace.

      I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m excusing either your father or your mother. Only saying that if you’re looking for peace in that relationship, that’s the only way I know to find it.

  5. I was just thinking about your mom today, then you came to my blog and commented, and I came back and read this. My childhood with my mom was pretty awful too. Imagine tcoming back from seeing your father EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND and being interrogated for two hours and yelled at because you aren’t remembering every word he said — and thinking that’s normal. Mom was emotionally abused and she emotionally abused her kids. Neither of us has kids, so the cycle ends here.

    Mom is a lot better now, largely thanks to my sister setting the limits that Mom’s second husband refused to. But we still have to be careful of the rages. I’ve long since gotten over being envious of other people who had awesome moms. I’m glad not everyone was subject to these things. I’m also glad for whatever is better about our relationship now. Life is too short to hold onto bitterness.

  6. My relationship with my father was pretty dysfunctional and we didn’t see each other a whole lot. But you’re right. I think about him, with a lot of regret, every day.

  7. J,
    I was thinking about you and your mom recently. Your relationship was vivid and joyful and real. I enjoyed getting to know both of you through the internet, our geographic connection magnified by technology. I wish you peace through the balancing act of grief and joy, love and sorrow.

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