My mother was a single mom. She did the best she could to raise us but addiction often hijacked her and controlled her thoughts and actions.
Gods word say in Romans 7:15 "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate"
I know she hated the things that she did, I know she had a beautiful heart, a kind heart but her addiction kept her in bondage.
I never knew if she was drinking, sober, combative, high, if the power was shut off, the phones were shut off or if my bags were on the front porch of our single wide trailer.
Sometimes, I was confused on her love for me because as a teenager we associate action with love.
Because LOVE is a VERB.
We were all taught that "Action speaks louder than words."
I was very confused.
This confusion lead me to a very angry place. I was as my mother would tell you a completely different child at home compared to in public. I was angry, mouthy, disrespectful. I would scream profanities at my mother in desperation. I would throw things and cut myself in an attempt to get her attention. I was hurting so bad and didn't know what to do.
When I had these episode my mother would threaten to call my Uncle or my grandma.
If my uncle was called the night was going to get even worse. Violent. I would beg her not to call. It was not good for anyone.
But if she called my grandma I knew I had an escape plan.
There were many times I never heard my grandma pull up in her beige citation as I was having one of my episodes.
She was in her 70's, barely 5 feet tall with the temper of a good Irish woman. Mable, my grandma buried a husband to addiction and raised 4 alcoholic children. She was a very good Episcopalian. And stronger than a ox. She was raised on a farm and was tough as nails.
She was practically friends with Bill W. (AA).
She was aware of her childrens addictions and it broke her heart.
My grandma would storm through that door and those frosty hazel eyes were burning flames at me. She would come after me with her cane in the air telling me to "Get a HOLD of YOURSELF". Grandma would take those boney fingers and wrap them around my arm and march me to the bedroom or bathroom. I would have snot and tears all over my face as I desperately tried to catch my breath. I would get so worked up I would find myself vomiting in the bathroom. I was both embarrassed and ashamed.
I was also rescued.
That woman loved me like no other. "Get your stuff together." she would order me. I would quickly gather my things and get in her car to drive the 45 minutes to Troy, Oakland Park Towers, where she lived.
We would never talk about it. We would just play endless games of solitaire and rummy. We would watch episodes of Golden girls until I fell asleep safely on her floor.
Over time she aged and needed more assistance. She moved to Pontiac. Every Monday, I would see her. Her dictionary and paper always sat on the coffee table that was stained with cigarette burns. She would do crosswords from the paper every day and write little quotes on pads of paper she created out of "Valupak" coupons.
She took to me even more when my mom died. She really became all I had. At 22 years old, she loved me like no other. She and I would go through pictures for the hundredth time. I would ask her questions and try to take notes. She loved to share her stories and have someone just listen to her.
I could feel the love without her saying it. I trusted her. I don't trust many people. Maybe no one, to be honest.
I had nothing but ME to offer her. And she loved ME. And she loved me like NO other. October is a hard month for me.
My mother went into a coma right before Halloween and my grandmother died the same week. It is the hardest feeling in the world to not have a mom, to not have family. I miss my grandmas bony fingers wrapped in mine as she would try to teach me the Two Step or the Irish Jig. I loved when she would sing to me "Irish eyes are smiling." She was so little, fragile, broken hearted. She would just stare at me. I would put that last roller in her hair and walk her back to her bedroom where the hair dryer was. I would go back to the little table to clean up and just cry. I would cry knowing she had as she would say "Anita, I have gone up that hill and I am on my way down." I never wanted her to leave me.
"That'll do till your better paid." she would say as I left to go home. She would pucker her lips and give me a kiss. "I Love You Too." she would respond to my deepest love for her.
|MY GRANDMA LOVED AUTUMN. SHE ALWAYS COLLECTED LEAVES AND PRESSED THEM IN HER BOOKS.|
Time can be such a heartbreaker.
Ariel was always my number one fan. She loved me when no one else did. She would text me all the time. I kept that phone with all those messages on it. I still have her last voicemail. I have kept her notes, her devotional we did together and even have her bible I bought her with all her notes in it.
She too died in October.
I know I am a mess. I have been told, talked about and reminded of my imperfections.
There is something to be said about those that still choose to love you regardless. My grandma would tell me I had a good heart. She really loved me. Ariel would say "They don't know you...."
And even my mother would say "They don't know you.." only with a different meaning. But in my mothers sobriety she would look at me the same way my grandma would and say "I am so proud of you."
I sit here crying alone in the darkness. Longing to just have one more touch, kiss or look of admiration.
Time gets away and can NEVER be replaced. When our loved ones leave they never comeback. Never.
I have been begging God since I was 18 years old. Bargaining, pleading at times ready to sell my soul.
It's a hard life.
Don't make it harder. Forgive. Love. And never take one day for granted.