Change Always Coming

It’s normal for there to be highs and lows in life, right?

One of the many, unfortunate normals of life, I suppose.

There are some changes happening in my life, and I’m happy about them. For different reasons, including selfish ones. But I’ve found as they become closer and closer to taking place, it also makes me long to have my mother here. I wonder if I’m the only one or if my sister feels the same way. I’m sure she does.

I made a trip home recently. I usually don’t like going home…and tend to shy away from large family gatherings. As nice as these things are (I’ve written before), they tend to remind me more that my mother isn’t (t)here. This time was different though. We stayed with different people throughout the week. There was a fairly large family gathering. There was also some family drama (of course lol). But it was good. It was the first time, in a long time, that it wasn’t awful being home.  I guess that’s good. I’m sure it is..and I’m sure that means something.

But right now…I’ve given myself a timeframe for accomplishing things I want to do. One way or another it involves me moving this time next year. My sister is making some changes of her own. I know she’s nervous about it, I would be too. But I think it’s good for her. Change, however, makes us, almost involuntarily, want to look to our parents.

That’s the hard part. Looking for people who aren’t here. Not knowing, at times, who to turn instead. Or knowing, but still..it just not quite being right. For some reason I’m scared about my moments of longing for my mother overwhelms me…in this season of change I’ll be in not-quite-completely-new surroundings. And I’m not sure how I’ll express myself…or if I will. That will be something I’ll have to work on.

I saw the following quote on Goodreads semi-recently:

“A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones.” – Kristin Hannah, Summer Island 

It’s been almost 6 years. SIX years. I still can’t believe it. Almost 2 for my father. My age doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, I’m still a little girl wanting her parents.

I screenshot the quote when I saw it. Sometimes I feel like I’m drawn to sad things. But I don’t need to be reminded of this quote. It actually embodies some of what I read in a book about women whose mothers have died. Quite accurate it is. I think I keep thinking that it’ll get easier the older I get. Even though I know it’s not true. In some ways, it actually seems to be ‘getting’ worse.

& Now

I moved. Super happy for the big picture. I wasn’t at all happy where I was. Although I had semi-recently formed some friendships…so I was sad to leave those, but I know our friendship won’t end just because I’m not there. Being laid off from your job definitely has pros/cons. I keep telling myself (and others) that I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity. As I was telling my cousin yesterday, if I hadn’t been laid off, I’m not sure when I would have moved/left. Despite my desire to leave, I was also afraid of quitting my job to just pick up and move. But part of that decision was taken away from me, so here I am lol

It’s been pretty good so far. I’ve missed the city, the diversity, the food, my friends. Still looking for a job, but that’s to be expected. I was talking to my cousin yesterday about my future and not getting stuck again. I’ve never been a risk taker, but I’m at the point in my life where many things are a risk. Especially if I want to continue on this search for happiness. Here I’m reminding myself that the word I chose for this year was endeavor. Which, for me, includes some aspect of risk. I don’t like that lol But I guess that’s why it’s good.

This weekend my uncle has been visiting…I haven’t seen him in a long while, so it’s been nice. He’s also helping his daughter with some things around the house and his granddaughter with some things. Sometimes I get sad watching them. That’s why I decided to write here, it’s one way for me to express the combination of: being happy to see him, happy seeing him help and just the dynamic of his relationship with the two of them..plus my own sadness/memories.

Anyway. I’m definitely going to try to be more intentional with my pursuit of employment.  I’m not trying to have more jobs I dislike…escaping from darkness can be liberating, but the threat still lingers..and I don’t want to go back to that place.

Cinema

Tonight I watched a movie about a widower who traveled across the country to visit his kids. Robert DeNiro was in it, so I figured I’d give it a chance. Plus, I saw it as a preview in another movie I watched. I enjoyed it overall…one part of the plot involved the kids talking more to their mother, over the course of their lives, than their father. This continued after their mother’s death as well. They told their father only what he wanted to hear, while being more honest with their mom (the mother kept things from the father also since he worried a lot/pushed the kids to be perfect).

This reminded me of my relationship with my parents (of course lol)..though a tad different. But growing up my sister and I were much closer to my mom than my father. I didn’t lie to my father, but I told him more good things than bad. It was only in the last couple of years before his death (and after my mom died), that I started telling him when I was worried or stressed..or in need. Sometimes.

Watching Robert DeNiro go across the country visiting his kids (NY – Chicago – Denver – Vegas) also made me realize how much I [will] miss growing up (because despite being 28, I still feel, amazingly, like a child lol)..getting older without my parents. It’s something I’ve thought about before, specifically in terms of big life events, but this just made me think of the small things. Small things I know my mom would do and, I guess, small things I might do with my father..and things he’d do in his own way. There are a set of cousins in particular, and their parents, who I love so dearly because of the support they have offered my sister and I, especially in the wake of our parents’ deaths. I see their posts (whether my aunt’s or uncle’s posts about their kids or my cousins’ posts about their parents or their own children) and it makes my heart ache.  I suppose what it boils down to is I don’t feel like a daughter anymore. And the loneliness, the emptiness, of such a realization still hurts.

Baba

Disclaimer: Again, I ask for forgiveness for any typos/grammar mistakes. I wrote this fairly quickly & didn’t reread it all. 

I think this is the 1st time I’m writing something entirely (or at least mostly) about my father. By far, I talk about my mother more, though I feel both their absences so strongly. If I’m honest, sometimes I feel that I miss her more, which, at times (or maybe just in general), I do. Maybe not. But, then again, I think it makes sense. My parents were separated, reunited, and then divorced, when we were young. On TV/in movies, a divorce is often a horrible ordeal..even if the parents are amiable about the whole thing, the kids are usually upset by it. Not so with my sister and I. I think my parents only needed to be together to have us, but, other than that, it didn’t seem to work.

Even before they got separated, somehow I don’t have too many memories of my father being around. Then, once the divorce was final, he moved to another state. We were fine with it. I can recall being seemingly forced to go visit him over the summers. Part of the custody agreement.  We didn’t really care to go visit my father. I don’t think the main thing we disliked was going to see him, but we found his city extremely boring. I also tended to think, as a teenager, that he assumed he knew us just because we shared DNA…but in my mind, he wasn’t around that much, and we saw him once a year. What could he possibly know? I cried once, after something happened…I can’t even remember what it was, but I don’t cry easily. I just remember my sister phoning my mom and telling her that he’d made me cry.

My father died in 2013. It was only in 2008 that I truly believed he loved me. And only in the past few years that our relationship, to/for me, started to mend. When my mother died, my world was shaken. Though I still had my father, I still felt utterly alone. Slowly, that changed a little bit…after he died, I realized I would miss what could have been. I had only just started feeling that our relationship was getting better. The day he died, I was supposed to be leaving to go visit him.  I was excited to go..I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. I felt guilty about that afterwards…at planning or beginning to plan an earlier trip, but I didn’t go. Either because I couldn’t or I changed my mind and postponed it. I was planning to give him a mug from the school I attended for graduate school. Because he likes tea. I was also planning to get him a large print Bible because he’d said at some point he needed another one. I was packed. I was ready. I had a graduation picture (from undergrad) to take with me as well, a big one..because I remembered/thought I’d only given him a small/medium one. After he died, once I got down to his city…I was shown the graduation picture I’d sent him previously. He’d had someone laminate it. Apparently he was really excited about me coming too…they had planned to have lunch set up for us in this common room. I was angry with myself, for putting it off. I was angry that it happened the same day my mother died 4 years prior. I was sad that it happened under the same circumstances as my mom: random, before Christmas, the semester before I was to graduate.

My father was an intensely private person. I knew this, but found it to be true even more, speaking with his/our relatives. I, too, am somewhat of a private person. I have to push myself to reveal the depths of my heart and, even then, I still have to push myself…and then I might not do it lol In my last post I talked about my introverted nature. I know I got that from my father. Oddly enough, I think I got my intense love for people from my mother..although it can be hard, that combined with being an introvert. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I find myself thinking more often about which parts of me I inherited from my father. Just like with my mom, I find myself thinking about calling him to update him on things. With Father’s Day coming up, I find myself also thinking about how I/we never…rarely got him a Father’s Day card on time. I am still struggling with some things I found out after his death. And I know part of the reason I didn’t go see him earlier was because I was still, whether consciously or unconsciously, holding things from our past against him.

All these things I know to be true. I miss the lunch we didn’t get to have. I miss the opportunity to show him pictures of my friends, discuss my classes, my ideas for the future. To learn, from him, about my family on his side. As I mentioned, I miss the opportunity to fully repair our relationship..or to see what it would have continued to grow into. My mother once told me my father had a hard time showing love. I can attest to that.

So much of me is him. I can’t pretend I’m not still confused/upset about…various things. Things that have made the grieving process even harder. But, I suppose, at least, I can say, finally, that I know he loved me.

Now

I’m graduating tomorrow..today, I suppose, technically. It’s an odd thing. A good thing, but odd. Neither of my parents will be here with me. Two of my aunts are going to be here though, a couple cousins, and some friends. and my sister of course. Sister said tonight she wished my mom was here and I echoed her sentiment. I also wished I could call my father to tell him about it, how I got a grade I didn’t expect, maybe about my outfit (though I’m sure he wouldn’t get it) and send him pictures later. My aunts remind me of my mom in so many ways. Expected heartache is different from unexpected, obviously, but just as painful. I haven’t really been focusing on things the past week and a half. Yes, of course, I’m excited to have finished what I seriously doubted I would. I was over school in so many ways lol But it is hard for me to enjoy it. I am happy. But I’m also so sad. My mind is constantly, unconsciously at times, preoccupied with the reminder that my parents are no longer here. And I fear that casts a dark shadow on every big event/accomplishment in my life.

It’s getting late though and I have to go to sleep to be ready to start tomorrow. It’s hard to be honest with myself, and others, about how I feel when I feel like people just want me to be excited or happy. & if I’m not, I’m not only letting them down, but wasting the time and effort they put into coming here. And yet…while I am happy, there’s also so much more. 

Once there was a baby star. He lived up near the sun. And every night at bedtime that baby star wanted to have fun. He would shine and shine, and fall and shoot and twinkle oh so bright. And he said, “Mommy, I’ll run away if you make me say good-night.” And then his mommy kissed his sparkly nose and said, “No matter where you go, no matter where you are, no matter how big you grow and even if you stray far, I’ll love you forever, because you’ll always be my baby star.”

Bedtime for Baby Star- Criminal Minds Episode, “There’s No Place Like Home”

Once there was …

This is an anomaly for me…two posts so close together. But what am I to do at 2am when I’m mulling over things. I think I’ve liked quotes for awhile, but recently I’ve become all about them. I got The Fault In Our Stars as a birthday gift and read it voraciously over the course of  2 days. I probably could have finished it faster, but I did need to sleep and study lol I loved that book and I want to reread it. It was a beautifully sad book. One thing that one of the characters said stuck with me and I’m certain I marked the page to write it down later. But it is the focus of my thoughts this early/late morning: “Grief does not change you…It reveals you.”

Immediately I think to myself that whoever does read my blog is tired of ‘hearing’ me write about this. But I’m sure a number of individuals would tell me that I can if I want to…I should if I want to…and it is my blog after all lol People don’t HAVE to read. But I digress.

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I try to think of who I was “before”. That’s kind of what I’ve come to think of my life as. Or at least what I’m thinking right now. Who knows, in the morning this could change. There was “before” and there’s now. Obviously I’m not the same as I was “before”. Aside from the ‘events’, time has passed. Regardless I’d have changed. But is there irreparable damage? Sometimes I feel I’m a great deal more callous than I was. I don’t like that I’m like that..I’ve never said I was a really nice person lol I’m sarcastic and monotone, deadpan at times, but callous was not a word I’d have used to describe myself in the past. “Before”. It’s shameful. The logical part of me knows I can’t blame all things on grief. Hindsight is 20/20, it’s true. But hurt people hurt people is also true.

If grief reveals me…I’m not sure I like what its uncovered.