My mother is in the air, on her way. I'm still nervous, but better. I was feeling a bit guilty that when I think of her, I only think of the negative. I want to share some positive things about her because as much as I still carry this residual anger, I think it's fair to present a balance.
*She is progressive and interesting. Her style is bananas cool. She wears the coolest glasses & clothes, and her best friend is a vintage costume jewelry broker so my mother has the best and most interesting jewelry. Her bakelite collection is enormous and OFF THE CHAIN.
*She is a good painter. She shows her work and is making a name for herself in Seattle where she lives. For as long as I can remember, she has been a painter and her work in genuinely good. Because she is an artist, I have always been exposed to art and artsy, funky people. I am forever grateful for this.
*She has trekked the base camps of the Himylayas in Nepal a few times, ridden a bike across New Zealand and climbed up half of Kilimanjaro.
*When I was three, an intruder broke into our apartment and raped her. She didn't make a sound afraid I would wake and he would harm me.
*She has a strong jaw line and a tiny overbite that I think is really attractive. She has grey-blue eyes, nearly see-through, that have softened and warmed over the years, and I realize they are beautiful.
*She was the first vegan I ever knew. She is more of a vegetarian now, but when I was eight, thirty years ago, is when she started her Road to Veganism. At that time, she was about sixty-five pounds overweight (a lot on her teeny tiny 5'3" frame), she smoked and had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. And then one day she went to a hypnotist to stop smoking and she was packing this thing called tofu for lunch. She fed me the same ol' crap, but I obviously took notes for when I was older. I saw it transform her health.
*When I was in my early twenties, I lived alone in West LA. A next door neighbor tried to become overly friendly with me and when I ignored him, he started bugging. He would shout at me through my window and slice my phone lines. When he threatened to kill me, my mother offered to let me stay at her place until I got a new place to live.
*She is a different person than when I was young. And because of this, she is loving and sweet to my daughters. I realized that I did not care about our own mending as much as I was concerned about how she'd treat the girls. If I had heard one disparaging word from her directed towards the girls there would not be one visit ever like one we are having this weekend.
I just don't want this to be the trip where she wants To Talk. I can't imagine that happening though. We never talk about the past. At this point I think I would feel a bit mortified because after all that has been done and said, I know if she talks about It, all I'll say -- like all I’ve ever said as a kid -- will be, "No, it's ok." "Don't worry about it. It's ok." And that's what's mortifying to me; that as a strong, confident adult, I will cower back into feeling squashed. I will feel embarrassed by what some else has done to me and pretend it was nothing.
Donald Shoup, an Appreciation
6 hours ago