Hidden 11 days ago 11 days ago Post by RedXIII
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RedXIII Magnificent Bastard

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A year ago today, my mother died.

She was a good mom and entitled to her quirks. I remember being there at the hospital when it was about to happen. When the plug was literally being pulled. Tonight I tried to remember what happened next. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I cannot remember in detail. All I can think is that I created a psychological block which, before today, I wasn't even sure I believed in. I seem to get figuratively cold as a defense mechanism, but the mental blocks are new to me.

But you don't know my mom and you don't know me and those bits of personal information would be like hearing about your friend's day at work talking about places you haven't been, with people you don't know. I'll spare you that. What I will provide, though, is the hindsight. A year later, here are my thoughts and I hope they help you.

1) Call.
I'm not a small talker. I hate that sort of awkward 'what should we say next' moment. What I know through experience, especially with my own kids, is that it doesn't really matter what you say. Just call. Tell a joke. Mention a highlight for the day. Ask her what's new or what show she's watching or make something up that you know will get a response, even if its in jest. The conversation can be 3 minutes long. It doesn't matter, she just wants to hear from you and feel like she's involved.

2) Be Yourself.
I am a people pleaser to a fault. I will often adjust my behavior based on the people around me to illicit the most favored responses, even if that means muting some of my impulses. Don't do that with Mom. She wants to see what she made and, sure, if she created a mini-me she would be flattered, but if she created something altogether new that she did not expect, I can't help but think she'd be intrigued. Not all parents are the same and I realize there are certainly sensitive issues that exist that can deter pure honesty, but my advice would be to try it anyway. Be weird. Make dumb references. Share the embarrassing bits. If you're lucky, this woman has been studying you your entire life. Show her the real you. It's what she's always been looking for.

3) Listen.
You mother is your nearest link in the chain of your lineage. She's the next step in learning where you came from and what the world was like. History repeats itself and you could only be doing yourself a favor by being an audience and letting her tell her story. Let her be important.

My mom's side of the family is broken. I have an estranged aunt who is practically treated like Voldemort and shall not be named and I still don't totally understand why. I have an uncle who won't speak to my grandmother and I don't have a clue as to what happened. And I never truly will. People love looking up their ancestry on various websites, but you've got a direct link to your history right in front of you. Ask. Listen. Absorb. I think many will be amazed to discover that their parents have faced some of the same conflicts, ultimatums, and life altering events that have already unfolded in the generation passed and perhaps you could take advantage of that experience.

But mostly do it so she can be heard. So she can speak. So she can feel that spotlight. On your loneliness day, I'm sure an ear would have been invaluable. Be willing to lend yours.

And that's really all I've got. I love my mother and I hope there is a promising and exciting next phase to Life's experiences, but I can admit that I should have done more of those three things. I probably could have helped make the phase prior that much more enriched. So I pass it to you to do better. Good luck and put yourself out there. You might be surprised at how pleasant it can be.

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Hidden 11 days ago Post by LostButterfly92
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Red, I am so sorry for your loss. =( My mother and grandmother have been in and out of the hospital, and right now my grandma has covid so I definitely feel you. I agree with your advice. Call. It will make their day, even if you're not a talker.
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Hidden 11 days ago Post by BangoSkank
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That's beautiful Red. We've all got our own religions but one thing I'm pretty confident in is that there is something after life and that it is still in some way connected to the world of the living and there is no way your mother isn't aware of the sentiment of what you wrote today, if not the exact words. If that's right and I think it is, there's no way she's not smiling. I'm gonna talk to my mother tonight.

That was beautiful.
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Hidden 11 days ago Post by Dark Cloud
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@RedXIII I won't go into detail but you are lucky you had a good mother, I haven't spoken to my mom for 8 years.
Hidden 10 days ago Post by RedXIII
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RedXIII Magnificent Bastard

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Thank you all for reading and, DC, I certainly do consider myself lucky. I hope the rift has not impeded upon your happiness.
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Hidden 10 days ago Post by Dark Cloud
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@RedXIII I just realized that I need to cherish my time with my parents, this has helped me come to the conclusion that I need to make the most of my time with my dad & stepmother. You helped and I appreciate it.
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