I don't go to my Mother's grave very often. I don't feel closer to her there. I don't feel closer to my sister buried beside her either. I spent many hours every summer in the cemetery as a kid. We were caretakers of it. My Dad dug graves by hand back then. I ran the hand clippers with my mom. I played there and ate pic-nic lunches there on the mossy ground under the pines trees lining the gray painted iron pipe fencing. I laid in the patches of blue-its and listened to the bird songs. My favorite song was "Cheeeese' bur-ger" . I snuck under the barbed wire of the cow fence across the roadway and played in the stream. My mother isn't there. She ceased being anywhere I could get to outside of my own memory on March 31st 1989. And I have forgiven her for that, which does not mean that I am OK with it. I understand it. But I never got the chance to talk to her about it. She told us she wouldn't have another by-pass surgery done. I didn't argue. I didn't voice my opposition. Stories were told of someone who spent the last years of her life estranged from family in a similar situation. I took that to mean my place was to accept and not challenge and most of all to not be angry. I stuffed the anger for several years. She was abandoning me and my children. I was too difficult to live with. I knew my father was too difficult to live with. But how much of that was us being too difficult and how much of it was her depression? There was no such thing as depression in our family though so it had to be us. Problems in my family zero. There were no problems. Families only had problems if they tlaked them selves into having problems. We didn't ever come close to that.
I've been here before. Nothing has changed. I looked around the same old ground in the new light of the the reading I found this week. I saw nothing new. The wound is healed but the pain is not forgotten. I don't need to rub it raw. I don't need to prove anything. I don't need anything to change. The unanswered questions do not haunt me. They are a part of me now as is the longing for 'mother' that must be satisfied in other ways. It is not that scary. I guess I thought I was going to find something scary if I went back with a new light. I found the same old regret from having listened to the nurse that night and stayed outside ICU room where she died alone and so afraid of hospitals. That memory will still bring a tear but it will not bring despair. There are no surprises waiting there. I have the same angers: At the nurse who pushed me out, at my Dad for being overbearing and not listening. At mom for not being strong enough to fight for her life or even for her voice. I hurled a bunch of it at God for not keeping me from the pain--he told me that one can not really experience love and joy without having known their opposites. He reminded me of my continuing pray to understand love. So I store my anger in a basket giving it room to morph and rise and fall. It isn't scary. I can turn my back on it and move away and come back and it does not change, but it doesn't need to. I have no more dark corners. I know my heart and all it's rooms. I allow all the things in this room called Mother to exist for what they are. Each feeling is labeled and stored open in loosely woven baskets. I re-decorate from time to time, shift the baskets around and change the view, but I do not need to hide the baskets away--and I don't need to visit so often anymore that's all.