(Sorry I stepped away yesterday. All is well. Anyway, on with the story.)
I think there are two more background pieces to know. Both are really difficult to write, especially for the wide and unknown audience that this space has, and because well, they are not pretty pieces. So I struggle to figure out how to “T” this up.
If my ma were to walk into the room right now, bet your ass I would crumble down in tears of extreme joy, embrace her like she has never been held, and promise to never ever let her go. You see, I think that love changes our paradigm. When we love, so fully, so completely, there is almost nothing in this world that can come between us. There is nothing so awful, so horrific, that love cannot overcome. From love, a wellspring of forgiveness seems endless. From love, there is no judgment, no I told you so’s, no holding back.
We all have our cross. I have come to believe that before we are born – God, the Universe, Holy Source of Our Being – has got a path for us to take. We agree to this path, because we know, in the most unconscious places of our being, that we serve a higher calling, a higher purpose. We are a part of where the world is going. I believe that some of us have what could be perceived as easier and harder roles or jobs to do. I think my mom agreed to a very difficult role.
That being said, she struggled with two things that I believe would ultimately play a role in this story.
- She was really struggling with her marriage. I don’t know that I can say more than that. There are a great deal of stories wrapped up in this little phrase. I honestly spent so many years pondering this piece, and know that I will never really know what this meant. There were accusations on all sides – of infidelity, of abuse, leaving. It seems like everyone that I know has a different version of what ‘exactly’ was going on. All I can say without doubt is that she was not happy in her marriage.
- She was an alcoholic.
You know that there are many different kinds of alcoholics. She was a binge drinker. She would be sober for long (sometimes years) periods of time, and then *wham*, like a mack truck it would come. She would be physically and emotionally unavailable. She would black out / pass out for periods that were often between 24 and 48 hours at a time. There is no way to know exactly when these times would come. They could be triggered by her being in a bad place with her husband, sometimes it would be because of her family – or his, and sometimes the reasons never came. It just happened and we all had to deal as best we could. During this time, I became the temporary ‘mom’ figure.
When this would happen, she would sometimes ‘hide’. She would lock herself in the bathroom, or somewhere in the house, or – she would walk outside and find a place to just be in the woods behind the house. She would try to HIDE. Physically and emotionally. She was SMART. PROUD. She knew, all along, how awful it was for us. She knew, but no matter how hard she tried, no matter how ‘good’ she was, the dis-ease had a hold on her. She was powerless to it, and as much as I know she tried to stop it from happening, she just couldn’t. Her DNA, her background, her demons, were just a bit too real and too big and hairy for anyone to overcome.