Misha and I just returned from a quick visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on the east coast of the United States.
I had a craving to see the ocean.
And I saw my mother.
I have not seen my mother for almost ten years, and I haven’t spoken to her for over two. There’s a reason for this, but having grown and dispelled so very much of the anger within me, as I come closer to seeing my 50th birthday, I felt I should make the gesture and see her.
We met at a Red Lobster, and in true Mom-fashion, she tried to get me to eat. I stuck to my decaf coffee. She had apparently had a minor stroke recently and was going to call a neurologist on Monday. I said Misha and I were fine, and that I was going to meet a pen-pal that evening for coffee. She said I shouldn’t be interested in hanky-panky. I said I was just meeting someone I’ve corresponded with for four years … and anyway, hanky-panky is fun.
She looked frail.
She looked tired.
She looked mean.
Today I called her to see how her appointment went. She said she hadn’t gone yet, and that she needed to tell me that my lifestyle makes her angry so she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore. Ok. Click.
So ends that.
It was hurtful, I will not lie.
It was also confusing, because there’s nothing about my lifestyle that affects her at all. I don’t hurt animals or small children; I don’t even live in the same state. Misha and I aren’t married, this is true, and I do like to meet new people and go new places. She grew up in Korea, during the Korean War. I suspect she fears Life, and I suspect that that fear has become bitterness. I also believe that my independence, from the time I was a child, is so alien to her understanding and world-view, that I have become anathema to her.
And I thank her for it.
By rejecting me, and my fundamental nature, she has essentially freed me from my (mostly self-imposed) enslavement to her expections of me, expectations I could never hope to live up to because even when I knew them, they’d change. Now, I have only to live up to my expections of myself.
I wish her the peace.