Well, my first thought on mother's day is usually about how many presents my kids will give me. Since my mother is dead, I do not have to buy her anything. But this year, probably because i am so much more philosophical and basically better because i have cancer, i have been thinking about my mother. We never really got along and she died young, when I was going through one of those self-absorbed "my parents fucked up my life" stage. That is too bad, because I have come to understand and appreciate her more now since she has died.
Granted, part of it is that she is not hanging around yelling at me, but it's more than that. I have been through a lot of the things she went through- getting sick at a relatively young age, although she was much sicker than me, getting older, etc. I guess having cancer and being sick at about the same age she did lends some understanding, but to tell the truth, I think that having had my father live with me for at at least a decade since my mom dies really helps me understand why she was sometimes so miserable.
My father has generally been a pretty fun guy, but if you look up sociopath in the DSM-4, you will see his picture. He was always a pretty charming guy but with the morals of- what? an alley cat? I don't think I would be doing the alley cat justice. Just let me point out first that right now, my father is a cool guy. He has gotten older, and has forgotten about the scheming, wheeling and dealing part of his mind and is just a really nice old guy. It helps that he lives 3000 miles away.
My father had many interesting jobs in the past, and i believe some of them were legal. He did have the distinction of being the first one in the family to have a federal probation officerfor "money laundering" , which really made for an interesting Christmas newsletter that year. I think he saved that for after my mother passed away, but I am sure he was leading up to it in her final days. Now, I don't claim to know a lot about money laundering, since it includes two things that I am very bad with- money and laundry. But I would have thought if you were involved in it enough to get a probation officer, perhaps you might have made some sort of illegal profit from it? Doesn't appear so. Well, I don't mean to say that I would be less appalled if my father was a successful criminal. Well, I probably would. I guess it would depend on exactly how much money it was.
So anyway once my mom died and my dad got rid of the house, he spent a lot of time living with me in some of my post-divorce houses. He had a number of "deals" going on at all times and frequently used me as his attorney without actually mentioning it to me. He was always close to making a million dollars, but not quite close enough. And he always hit on my friends- the ones who were younger than me. SO I'm thinking he didn't suddenly become a totally different person at 60. I just didn't pay attention to him until he was under my nose. He had to have driven my mother fucking crazy!!!! I always felt bad that they didn't have prozac in my mother's time- I thought it could have helped. But the more time I spent around my adult dad, I became more and more surprised that she lived with him for so long and didn't kill him.
Now I love my father- and my mother- because when you think about it, we are all products of our own fucked-up upbringing. I am just sorry it took me so long to realize how much my mother had to put up with. No wonder she was such a bitch. Now when my sister comes from California and it is close to mother's day, she wants to go to the cemetary where she is buried. Not me. First of all, I am not sure where people go when they die, but i do not think it is forest hills cemetary. Secondly, cemetaries are things that people invent to drive people crazy. You can never find the grave you are looking for. I don't think GPS works there, either. Actually, the only reason I have ever visited that cemetary since we buried my mother 20-plus years ago was because it is in Jamaica Plain,near that bar Doyles, which holds good memories for me. (i had one of my law school classes there every week.) (No wonder I loved law school.)
When I moved back to Boston after having Meghan out of wedlock in Hawaii, my mother the devout rascist Catholic who made up a whole married life for me to explain my young bi-racial baby, helped babysit Meghan. Despite everything, she saw through her own prejudices and realized what an amazing kid my baby was. Meghan's relationship with my mom was as unlike mine as it could possibly be. She was wonderful and Meghan has always loved her Nana. Which is why when Flower suggests going to the grave I say no. If I want to remember my mom,all I haveto do is look at Meghan.
Happy Mothers Day