Saturday, December 30, 2006


I don't know what to title this posting because I really don't know, right now, where I am going with it.

For Thanksgiving, my mother cooked most of the food and brought it to my house for dinner. The deal was I was to cook for Christmas. So, I called mom, verified that she was still coming and set of to purchase and cook.

I cooked food for about 8 people, even though I knew there would only be 4 of us eating dinner (holiday meals are no fun without leftovers). I had to be at work at 6 AM Christmas morning, so I cooked a little 2 days before, then most everything else on Christmas Eve. Whatever I did not cook, my daughter finished on Christmas while I was at work.

I called my mom's cell phone at 4:30 PM on my way home from work, got her voice mail and left her a message. "Hi Mommy! Merry Christmas! The food should be ready, I am about 5 minutes away from home so I hope you're on your way. OK, see you in a few minutes, I love you. Bye."

My mother NEVER called me back.

Not only did she not call me back, she did not come over for Christmas dinner.

She did not call the day after Christmas either.

My mother called my house on Wednesday, two days after the holiday and said:

"Hey. How long have you been up?"

"Well, all day."

"Oh, well, I'm gonna come by and drop some stuff off. I will see you later."

When she arrives, she offers no apology (which at 38 years old, I know better than to expect) and no explanation. I still have not even heard the words 'Merry Christmas' from my mother.

She is all grins like nothing happened.

So she puts gifts down.

I give her the gifts that have been under the tree for the past 2 days. I finally manage to calmly say, "We missed you on Christmas."

She says " Oh, I went with Sister to one of her co-worker's. He has a nice house. We had prime rib and duck with orange sauce. But, I didn't try the duck. It was really nice."

I am standing in my living room in front of my mother and daughter and I want to tell her to get out of my house. I want to know what the fuck is wrong with her and I want to ask her why she could not have told me that she really had no intention of coming to my house for dinner.

What did I do to her that spending Christmas with strangers was so appealing?

What the FUCK is that about?

I felt embarrassed. I look stupid looking for my mother to arrive at my home for dinner and she doesn't show up.

No, this is not about how it looked.

It is about how I felt.

For quite some time now I have felt that my mother has no use for me. I mean, yes, she's proud of me and loves me. She knows if something happened I'd be there for her. She knows she can trust me to do any financial transactions and would give her my last. My only purpose for my mother is to be there for her in case she gets sick.
But, she has no real use for me. She could take me or leave me.

Actually, to be perfectly honest with myself, she could leave me.

And has.

I mean, how low on her list could I be if I did not even deserve a phone call.

And, yeah, I know....WAHHH! Right? I am crying like a little baby, but FUCK!

I am talking about my mother.

I am angry.

I think I am fair to be angry.

But it becomes unhealthy because I am angry with myself. How many times will I allow my mother to just do whatever to me and I accept it?

How long am I supposed to remain open to her?

How am I supposed to trust my feelings to her?

How do you only close the gate halfway?

I am kind of an all-or-nothing kind of woman. You're either in or your out. I trust you or I don't.

But with my mother, I love her, but I don't trust her.

I wanted to push the issue and tell her that she hurt our feelings by blowing us off for Christmas, and I did not. I knew that it would just lead to an argument.

But, what did I really avoid? I mean, I am angry with her anyway. I don't want to see her or talk to her. I am just LIVID.

She never apologizes. I have never gotten a straight apology from my mother. Her apologies are always Pyrrhic victories--you win but it costs much more than you would ever gain. What would be the point in that?

I feel like I did as a child, just so frustrated by her and like I belonged to another mother. I just had to belong to someone who had real feelings and empathy.

OK, maybe the name of this posting could be childhood. or depression. or anger. I recall now my first depression. Winter 76/77, we had a tragedy in the family, my uncle died in an apartment fire. We all lived in the same building. We came home from shopping for a Christmas tree to find our building fully involved and no one could get to Uncle Lawrence's apartment. That winter and spring I was withdrawn and sullen.

I was clinically depressed at 8 years old.

When I tried to talk to my dad, my mother would shush me, because he was grieving his brother.

When I tried to talk to her, she would not hear me or I would not be able to find the words.

I felt so very alone. I wondered why no one wanted to know about me. I wondered what was wrong with me.

Some days, like Christmas evening, I wonder, what the fuck is wrong with me that my own mother would rather be anywhere but here?

This has offered some clarity. Maybe there is more to my Seasonal Affective crap than just daylight and chemicals? Maybe I need to figure out how to leave the gate partially closed. Maybe there are reasons for my insecurities and feeling less than.

I won't go all Freudian and blame everything on my mother, but hell, I can see that there are some issues that I used to pass over as 'how she is' or even worse 'i just get a little sad', but there is more to it and I deserve to be honest with myself and see the whole picture.

Whatever it holds I am finally ready to see it all.

And by all means, if my viewpoint is askew(or in any other way: all off*, all wet*, all wrong, amiss, awry, defective, fallacious, false, faulty, flawed, inaccurate, incorrect, inexact, invalid, misguided, mistaken, off, specious, spurious, unfounded, unsound, untrue, way off, wrong number ), please tell me.

I was wished courage for Christmas, I think I could use it already.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I hope I am the only one at work this beautiful Christmas morning.

Here in Cleveland, it rained yesterday! Not a freezing rain either. I have had a peaceful day.
I am thankful for the blessings I have and for those to come.

Have an incredible day.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006

...ok, the truth is I don't care for this season

Truth be told, I cringe when it comes to Christmas.

Hold on! Don't rush to judgement.

I love Christmas. The decorations, food, spending time with family, contemplating what is important and meaningful, and honestly being thankful for Jesus' birth. I love it.

But, I hate shopping and just dealing with people in general. People can be so mean this time of year.

Really, people will push you down and walk on you to get to an Elmo who will laugh!

People are in such a hurry to spend money that they don't recall the reason for the celebrating.

Yes, I guess that is corny. I really love the spirit of the season.

My favorite Christmas carol as a child was The Little Drummer Boy. Still is.

Simple and beautiful. The finest gift we give is of the heart.

Don't get me wrong ,I don't live in a bubble. I am a gadget geek, on a new homeowners budget. I have my own Christmas wish list. I will go and stand in line for those things that my beloveds desire.

But, Christmas shopping leaves me cold.

I understand why we all do it. We love our families and this is that time of year when we say to one another 'Hey, you are loved and deserving just because you are'.

We focus in on getting them the best. That perfect gift.

I understand.

But shopping makes me cringe. Mean people make me sad. Rude people make me very angry!

oh, well, I guess I will just have to make sure to put on my favorite Christmas CD and keep a song in my heart while I try to find that obscure movie or stand in line for the game console that everybody wants but there are only 100 being sold in the country.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Skidded, but No Tailspin

Yesterday, December 3rd would have been my father's 66th Birthday. (It is a birthday he shared with his first granddaughter, my oldest niece, Timika.)

He passed on Wednesday, (Ash Wednesday) March 8th, 2000, but I lost him a few years before that.

I was always, unabashedly, a Daddy's Girl.

There was nothing better than having Daddy's undivided attention.

When I was growing up, we would talk about anything.

A few of the things that I love that are directly linked to him are:
my sense of humor, my sarcasm, golf, football, tennis, Lorna Doone's (shortbread cookies), jazz (the classics; Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald), art, the joy of walking around your home with a song in your heart, dancing, and beautiful lines on a well made auto...

I thought we talked about everything. In my mind, there was only one other person in the world who would accept me without question, and with open arms, my Mama (Mom's mom).

I learned to question everything from my father. There was no such thing as a dumb question or anything out of bounds.

I watched what he did and what he said.

I thought I knew him.

Coming out was difficult for me. I knew I was attracted to girls in grade school. I thought one of my best friends, Karen, was beautiful, and I had the BIGGEST crush on Wonder Woman.

Yeah, really, Wonder Woman. (blushing)

My Big Mama(Dad's Mom) was a "dyke, bulldagger, you know, funny" and two of his brothers were gay. He loved them all unconditionally.

I thought my mother would have a problem with my sexuality. I thought my mother would reject me. I mean I learned all those alternate words for lesbian from overheard conversations on my mom's side of the family.

(I never heard the word 'lesbian', until Jon Lovitz, doing a skit on Saturday Night Live, rhymed it with thespian)

It took forever for me to come to the point where I just could not try to be who I thought others wanted me to be.

Actually, it took a major depression.

My mom had a problem initially, but eventually it was not an issue.

My dad had a big problem and everytime he saw me, made a point of letting me know it.


So, I started avoiding him because we argued all the time.

When he became ill, sick with cancer, he still did not let up.

The day he passed, I was at home painting. I had been in my art room for 2 days, working on a sketch and rough draft. I was listening to Cassandra Wilsons' Traveling Miles.

My mother called to tell me he had passed.

I broke.

I am still mending.

Usually, I am on guard beginning December 1st because I know that his birthday sends me into a tailspin. I feel worthless and useless. I feel like I am of no use to anyone I love. I cry without understanding why.

Last year I was able to celebrate him.

This year it caught me unawares.

On the evening of the 2nd, my daughter began talking about Mama (mom's mother) and the time just before her passing (which happened to be 1 year and 1 week after my father's). The tears blindsided me. I thought it was all about Mama, and pushed it away.

That evening, I felt that I could not do anything right for Myra, felt useless to her. I cried. I could not explain why; I did not know why. (Imagine her confusion.)

Every year I call my sister on Daddy's birthday. Later, I called my niece. She was down, said she doesn't want to celebrate it without him. I told her to celebrate. She was listening half-heartedly to half-hearted words.

The truth is I don't know how to comfort her. There was little anyone vould do to comfort me. I thought of him as soon as I woke up yesterday and then I wondered how Timika would get through the day.

Maybe next year will be better.

Happy Birthday Daddy.