This is one of the tougher blogs for me to write. There is no way to make sense of this crazy relationship. Is it a relationship? I don’t even know if what we have qualifies as a relationship. I had always had a lot of respect for my mother as she raised us kids on a tight budget. To this day she has bought and sold houses. Doing work on them at her advanced age. She has no bills. Owes no one. What she has done on her meager income is admirable.
I know there were times she did without so that I could have things. Especially when I was the only one left at home. Mama was never an overly affectionate mother. You just assumed that she loved you. As for me, I did and do love my mama. I would do anything for her then, and I would do anything for her now.
However, when I reached my teen years, I had begun to have misgivings about the religion that was inculcated in me since birth. At the time I had a sister who had already left the religion. Mama told me I could not have anything to do with her. It was perfectly ok for me to talk to and associate with another sister who was never baptized into the religion, yet didn’t go to meetings or have any other ties to the religion. This made no sense at all. I hung on to the religion longer that I really wanted to because I didn’t want to lose my relationship with my mama.
Eventually, I only attended a few meetings. Enough to keep my mother satisfied. I soon met Dennis and we dated for around five years. The religion thing was a huge issue with his family. I could not explain my situation with them. In my heart I knew I wanted no more of this crazy religion. But they were not convinced. The Witnesses disfellowshipped me. This was bittersweet for me. I was finally free of the religion. But I knew my mama would turn from me as well. It would never be the same. Yeah, they think they kicked this “wicked” person out. Cleaned out their organization. What they don’t know is I had doubts all along. I wanted out.
Through the years my mother has sent literature and letters trying to get me back into the religion. In her mind, that is the only way she can have a relationship with me again. She doesn’t know my children. She wasn’t there when they were born, or when they graduated high school, college, or their weddings.….She’s missed so much in my life and in my children’s life. And I’ve missed her life, although I tried to keep up with her as best I can. I know I’m not welcome at her house. But, the “bump into me” rule is in effect! If she sees me out anywhere, she will speak!
On this subject….Something similar happened recently with my brother who is also a Jehovah’s Witness. He was in Kroger and had his new stepdaughter with him. He checked out through a register, then walked to u-scan to talk to me. He chatted a minute then introduced his daughter to me. He said “This is Betty, She is your Aunt.” He then left and I turned around. There was a guy at robot 82 just standing there staring at me. I guess he was in shock ! Yep, not everyday someone just MEETS their kin in the grocery store!
Friday morning, November 4th, 2012, an early morning phone call awakened me. It was my sister, Doris telling me mama had fallen and broken her hip. Feelings of sadness for my mother filled me. She is such an active person and so physically fit for an eighty year old. I didn’t know what kind of reception we would get if we (my sisters and I) went by her side. I got up called around. Talked to my sister Margie. What she told me broke my heart. She said she had called down to check on her and our mother was crying in pain. It is hard to explain the emotions that I go through. I try to distance myself from feeling anything. But something like this happens and it all comes flooding back. The last twenty-five or thirty years of my life have been such a roller coaster ride of emotions in things about my mom.
So,Doris and I arranged to go down to LaGrange as she was having surgery that day. Those who were there treated us nicely, as well. We’ve been back to check on her. So far she hasn’t told us not to come. So that is good. She went to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center. We visited her there as well.
When released, Margie was the one who picked up the ball and kept in touch afterwards. She followed her recovery and kept us posted. She healed so quickly for her age. Quite amazing.
It is sad that she doesn’t know her 30 plus grandchildren/great-grandchildren. And her daughters seem so insignificant to her. Her life could have been so much richer. And the kids missed out on having their grandmother.
But I cannot control her. Only me. And if she needs me, I will be there. And of course, I will always speak to here when she Bumps into me.