Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #27 - Memorial Service part 10 - Fights and Hugs
Today is a short one, relatively speaking. Possibly including my biggest chunk of my Memorial Service talk text to date but short in terms of added material. Dad is coming over soon to help me with a project and then we're taking him out to dinner. We're going to finally thread the ethernet cable under the floor. Things like this bring back to me how different life is without you. Dad and I do not recap how you're doing. There's no recap of how you slept, ate, or pooped. And Dad does not have to get back home to relieve whomever is sitting with you. Granted, this is more freedom for him, but we would all trade the freedom to spend more time with you.
So, here's the next to last bit of the Memorial Service talk for this first day in August, the first day for which I cannot subtract four from the date to get how many days since you died.
This bit is continued from part nine HERE.
I could go on and on, but this is my last story about Marjorie, who by the way, did not like me to call her Marjorie, which we all took to doing in the years since the meningitis. A few years ago, she informed me that I was to call her “mom” or even “mommy” but not “Marjorie.” In her final days, because she loved it so much, I called her “mommy” a lot. Though I share many qualities with my father, and I look like him, I am most like my mother. I inherited my mother’s premature grey hair and her digestive issues. I get my emotional make up from her. When I showed up to the condo here in Richland on Thursday July 2nd, the day the hospice nurse told us she would not see to the end, my father said “here comes the soft-hearted one” as I swooped in and sat at my mother’s side.
By saying I am soft-hearted like my mother, this is not to say my father is not soft-hearted because he is, but he does not wear it on his sleeve quite as much as Mom and I. So, we’re a lot alike and because of this similarity, we would clash. All the time while I was growing up, my father would tell me “don’t argue with your mother.” Sometimes, he said it a bit more strongly than that but the essence of the message was always the same and it was repeated over and over and over. For years, I thought my father very unfair because there was no discussion of WHY I was arguing with my mother or about me being right, there was just the same remark: “don’t argue with your mother.”
I tried to respect his wishes, but we would argue and often when he was not around. As an adult in my 20s and 30s, living with my parents, and as someone who worked at home, my mother and I would often have these arguments during the day when we were home alone together, often when she was being frantic woman, scrambling to get ready to leave for her day in town. I don’t even remember what these arguments were about. Probably about me being selfish or taking advantage of her. Or lacking in common sense. My mother was very big on common sense. For the rest of my life, I will hear my mother’s voice in my head: “Why would you do that? Christopher! Don’t you have any common sense?”
So, there would be arguments about all kinds of things, like eating her mints or not paying her for ironing. I don’t remember. These flare ups would be bad. There would be yelling. But usually the argument would reach its climax and de-escalate quickly, and then I would want to make up. I would often cry and ask for forgiveness, or she would say she was sorry, though only after I said it first. Then, I would want to hug. My mother would say “Oh, Christopher, you’re too old for this.” But she would hug me anyway, and we would make up.
But after the meningitis? After she came home from Bronson ICU and Mary Free Bed, for the last fifteen years, she could not get enough of hugs and kisses and “I love yous.” I showered her with affection. I probably smothered her with it. She never again told me I was too old for hugs. She soaked it all up and still had room for more.
I hugged and kissed her a lot in her last two weeks. And every night for the last few years when I called, I told my father to kiss her and tell her I loved her. He always did. Sometimes when she was listening she would say it back or try. She tried to say how she felt about us all often in her last week but couldn’t get out the words. She did not want for affection and neither did we. There was never any doubt how much my mother loved us all. She told us in everything she did. And as Ms. Intensity, she was most intense about loving her family with more sheer force and strength than the big bang that created the universe.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 28 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1508.01 - 14:10