I grew up with a single mother.
Across the street from us, my grandmother.
These two women helped shape who I am.
They are not perfect women, but no woman is perfect.
As they age, their imperfections amplify.
And they are aging.
I can’t stop that.
I hear it in their voices.
I see it on their faces.
The two women, the two imperfect women who made sure that I led a life different from their own, are not ageless.
They’re imperfect and they’re aging.
These were two traits unfamiliar to me as a child.
Neither woman could own either characteristic.
Both women were my world.
And they continue to be, though the dynamic has changed.
It changed sometime when I was not looking.
These two imperfect women are not indestructible.
And I can’t stop that.
If I could, I’d take all their emotional or physical ache, their moments of loneliness, their times of frustration, their seconds of confusion and seal it in a box, sending it out to sea.
Visiting home is always…always…
I’m not sure what the word is.
Every time I visit home I feel different. Like the arm of a clock on a different time. When I was 22, I was 3AM, when I was 25, I was 4PM and now the clock rests on noon.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve mellowed out. Initially their dutiful daughter who always did what she was told suddenly did not like it. She snapped back. She was trying to figure out who she was and the last thing she needed was someone infringing on her time alone in her head.
Now, now she knows who she is. Now she doesn’t have a guttural reaction when one of them does nothing more than simply be the overly-concerned mother or grandmother that they are.
But coming home brings a new emotion. It’s no longer youthful angst, but rather seeing something I don’t want to see.
Something I’ll pretend is not happening.
As I hung in the doorway of my grandmother’s bedroom watching her get ready to go out, I noticed how small she looked. The weight (more…)
Today I was going to post a guide to Postmodern Tourism, but decided instead to talk about my Momma.
My Momma was born in 1950 in a small town in Upstate, New York. She still lives in that town. In fact, she still lives in the house she grew up in. When she was 24, her father passed away and gave her the house. It was the house she brought my Daddy into and the house I grew up in. It’s a modest house, but it was always filled with screaming kids, Will Smith CDs blaring from the stereo, and love.
I grew up an only child with a single mother. My Dad left when I was a little girl. Heartbroken that her family fell apart, my mother did her best to raise me alone. She brought home poverty level earnings from my grandmother’s clothing store on a dying Main Street, but working for the family afforded her time to pick me up from school and attend every band concert, soccer game, and play. If it was difficult for my mother, I did not know because she made sure I didn’t see it. The few times (more…)