I haven't thought much about my mom in the almost 6 years since she died. Thinking about her always made me angry so I just avoided it. Don't get me wrong, I bawled like a baby in the first few weeks after she was gone. But then I had time to think. I thought about her and all that had really happened between us. All the times she wasn't there or had said something cruel. I thought about how she often favored my siblings and flat out ignored me. I thought about how she laughed at my views on parenting and did the exact opposite of what I wanted with my daughter, just for spite. I started wondering who it was I was mourning. Was it really my mom? Or was it what I wanted her to be? Or was it the fact that now I'd never get to tell her what I really thought of her?
She died in a freak accident very early one morning.
We had, at best, a difficult relationship. She viewed motherhood as a heavy shirt you wore when it suited you. None of her kids lived with her. When any one of us failed to live up to her high expectations, she became a martyr, complaining to her friends or husband #2-5 how horrible we were to her. While my siblings eventually met with her approval, I never did.
Now? I'm grateful that I don't.
Still, there were some good times. Watching movies in the dark with a big bowl of popcorn between us late into the night. The few times she let me help decorate Christmas cookies. That one time she called me out of the blue and asked me to dinner. Her tears of pure joy when she was in the delivery room for the birth of her granddaughter.
I realized today that as much as she frustrated me, I really do miss her. Unfortunately, thinking of her also means thinking of the way she died. It's still a bit of a mystery exactly what happened, but I pray it was fast. I hope that she didn't realize what was happening to her.
I don't know what things would be like if she was still here. Would I ever have had the guts to tell her how I felt? Would it have made a difference?
I'd like to think I would've forgiven her either way. I guess that's what I need to do now.