Monday, November 4, 2013

How I Met My Mother.

My birth mother’s existence was often like sightings of Big Foot; possibly a myth that tended to roam the earth in different states. But nobody could ever get a clear picture, including me.
Having an adopted mother who died in 1998 made me think that my ‘having parents’ days we’re long gone, and too be honest I really didn’t need to have parents. I made it in one of the toughest cities on my own after growing up in the hood, and I’m so proud of myself. I’m not rich by any means, and still struggle but I live in Manhattan, on my own; in a great one-bedroom and in one of the best neighborhoods in NY. I have a good career that gives me a lot of time to pursue writing, and I’m happy. I have no ties, no one to burden me with their life and it feels damn great.

People are always amazed when I would say my parents we’re dead, often remarking, “oh I don’t know what I would do.” Well, I always think you learn to deal with it, you have to go on and survive or just wither up and die.

Two months ago I was searching the internet and I looked up my birth mother, and found she was looking for me on various websites. I was cautious but interested (meeting her for the first time at 15, didn’t go too well after a couple of years and we never talked again) I planned to tell her just how she hurt me with the first time I met her, and then also the last time I saw her.
We talked on the phone and made a date to meet. Monday came and I was ready to face my fears. I had changed my last name and tried to run from my family and seeing her would bring me back into the fold, 23-years later with people I had tried to forget about.
Waiting for her with birds chirping at an outdoor restaurant, the waiter asked if I would like to order something, I replied, “no. I’m waiting for my mother.” The words seemed cold to me. Who was this woman? I really didn’t know and to call her mother; some people would say she didn’t deserve the title. But I stopped holding on to that, and the past. Soon it felt good to say those words. Almost like I wanted to jump on the table and scream, I’m waiting for my mother! I. Have. A. Mother!

The last time my mother saw me I had bleached blonde hair and wore enough black eyeliner to choke Liza Minnelli. When she entered it took me awhile to recognize her; she didn’t recognize me, and I took that for a good thing. Meeting her could have gone many different ways. I could have “told her like it is,” like I have with various people over the years. Instead I let it all go, the past, and it’s not like I can forget everything and become a perfect person from it, but I can understand her better, as she didn’t have it easy as well. Being pregnant at fifteen with a family who all wanted to run the other way instead of helping her didn’t make her life easy. Sitting with her I didn’t have anger for her, I had pity. One learns over time that your parents did the best they could do for you.
Usually what hurt you at the time isn’t remembered by them, and vice versa; so why not just let it go and judge them for how they are now?
I think I can have a relationship with my mother, but it’s not like instant potatoes; add water and butter; get mother. We have a long road to take, and I’m ready to go down it again, no matter how bumpy it could get.