my mother’s keeper

…is usually me. its as though, slowly, through the last few years, we’ve swapped roles. when i started determining who i was as a person, as an adult and not a child, it was as though this silent understanding passed between us that she’s given up so much for me before, and now its my turn.

at 11 this morning, my phone went off. its sunday.

and my mother, on the other line:
she didnt wait for me to get home. she didnt wait. she didnt wait. she said she’d wait but she didnt.

over and over again.

it was at that moment, that very moment, where my world crumbled in a different way.

i’ve had it crumble before, from love lost, from heart break, from life throwing you a bitch slap once in a while. but it was different. it was surreal. it was like i stepped out of my body and was watching this badly edited movie and i couldnt find the fuckin remote control.

nothing but be her daughter. be her mother. be the one always in control.

and now its nearly 10pm. and i am tired. my eyes look like i’ve been in the ring against Ali. i am walking through today feeling as though im in a bubble. heavy, and grey. and quiet.

and i am finding it hard to cry to myself when i know its in there busting to come out. i wonder, now, if ever there will be a time that ill stop feeling as though i have to keep things together for her. if theres a time she’ll see me break.

my mother. my heart bleeds. i cannot write, even, how it bleeds.

3 comments

  1. badblood says:

    *massive hugs* my own grandfather just died. twenty minute funeral and a quick burial. nobody cared; he’d been senile for thirty years and a wifebasher before that, and the general sentiment was ‘about bloody time’.

    but mum was in pain cos her elder sister left helen, the daughter mum gave up for adoption before i was born, and her kids, out of the list of family in the death notice. and because when she went to perth to visit this daughter, despite the reunion, her daughter said: don’t call me again; don’t visit, and don’t write.

    the reunion had already turned sour, back in 1998, when i was seventeen, and yeah, i took her pain on, wholesale. i became her emotional parent. sometimes it has to happen. not even a single mother can hold so much pain on her own. just — here’s the hard part — somehow you have to know when you can ask her to switch back again. i took too long and it dropped a huge wedge in my relationship with mum.

    dropped by this morning in a panic because i’m launching trash magazine (trash.net.au) tomorrow and even though i never got back to you i was hoping to find a clubbing entry i could borrow, cos i’m so desperate for content i’ve had scxtty writing about urban architecture. the whole launch thing kinda snuck up on me. but instead i read the story you wrote about and for your grandma. it’s beautiful and it puts all this minor crap in perspective. *hugs again* & hope the healing comes soon.

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