The last two years have knocked me down and rubbed my face in the dirt. Don't feel sorry for me. I tried to get myself to my feet several times but these attempts were futile. Don't pity me. I have cried enough. I have imagined impaling myself on sharp objects to stop the pain.
Of everything, my mother's decline and death were the biggest blows. Even now, I find myself mourning my mother's life more than her death. I want to pick up the phone and talk with her. If I open myself to all possibilities, the dead speak and come in dreams and waking.
Death of family members let us know that genetics are more than remote scientific terms. Genetics impact us personally and intimately. My hands and voice are my mother's legacy and what no one can deny or take from me.
When a person in the family dies, surviving family members can be at their worst while serving guilt and falling back to worn out family positions. I was too emotionally weak to travel to my mother's funeral, alone. I did not want to assume the outworn position of whipping post.
I have abdicated my position in the family. My brother has been dead for 25 years and my mother is dead now. The two family members that remain prefer me on the bottom of the family tree. I leave them to fight over empty dominance between themselves. All I leave is nothing I ever had to lose.
For the first time in my life, I am free. My mother's death brought me a rare freedom. In some ways, I have drawn closer to my mother in death. She stares down at me smiling from her unblinking faces of youth. I look up at these photos - the photo of her and her sister as teenagers, the photo of her as a very young girl that reminds me of my face, the photo of her as a beautiful young woman.
All these photos of my mother were taken before she met my father. I wonder what her life would have been like if she had chosen different paths. Would she have chosen a kind and loving man instead? I don't seem to care that I wouldn't exist in these alternate paths that might have lead to a better life for my mother.
At the hands of my father, my mother surrendered her life and sacrificed her children for a love her husband was incapable of giving but worse, she chose a path that led her to surrender and sacrifice all into the hands of an abusive and controlling man. I will not go far in describing this path that is a deep, scarred crevice. I fear never being able to climb out of the crevice if I explore the depths too frequently.
My mother's last decline and ultimate death pulled me back into that crevice and I have been spending the last two years clawing my way back to solid ground. Certain thoughts pull me to the crevice edge again.
The last years of my mother's life were unbearable suffering with prolonged hospital and nursing home stays. For almost a year, while my mother was in these medical facilities, my father put on such a great loving act toward my mother that even I was fooled. I would call my mother and she would tell me how well my father treated her and we would agree that he must really love her after all. To this repeated phone call conversation, my mother's refrain would be: "I just wish he had showed me love sooner."
My mother's repeated refrain and lament would make me feel honest pain inside. I thought my father had finally had a wake up call. I too wished he had woken up sooner. My father could sustain this act for everyone witnessing his feigned devotion to my mother until my mother had to come home. Medicare had run out and although my father is a wealthy man, he could not handle my mother being home again, and what she cost him in time and money.
He controlled what my mother ate, how she was cared for, and worse, he withheld her pain medication. In the first week she was home with no pain medication, my mother told me that if this is the way life was going to be for her, she didn't want to live.
Both the visiting wound care nurse and the live-in care provider tried to reason and plead with my father. I tried to reason and plead with my father but my father was in control and he had my mother home to control and abuse again. At my mother's weakest, in her most vulnerable state, and while she was in excruciating pain, my father controlled and abused her until he finally tortured her to death.
My mother's mental and physical torture at the hands of my father lasted for 6 months until her death. No one could touch or stop him. The State of Florida's family services only came out to my parents' home once. The visiting nurse said that family services saw my mother's lavish surroundings and dismissed and minimized the reports. After my mother's death, the visiting nurse said that my father believed he was above the law.
The only way my mother finally escaped my father was through death. She freed herself and she freed me. I love my mother and I know she loves me. I forgive her. I hope she forgives me.