I’m in an extremely strange head-space today. My parents are here in Utah for the next week, visiting. My dad heads to Salt Lake City to meet up with his business partners and associates, (to have lunch, have meetings, and whatever else they do) and my mom and I have been spending a lot of time together. Through this time, we’ve had a lot of great talks about where my future is heading (schooling, career, certifications, you name it) and today’s lead somewhere completely different.
This talk was all about her and her future. We’ve had casual conversations in the past about the thought of her splitting up with my father, about what that’d mean about her life, providing for herself, making her own schedule, having her own rules. Also about the idea that she’d finally have her own hobbies, career, friends, interests, and a calling in this life. My mom is so quick to vent to me about the way he treats her and our family, but the thought of divorce scares the wits out of her. She worries that she won’t make it financially and will ultimately be living on the street. It goes without saying that I’d never let that happen. She knows that any one of her brothers and sisters would be more-than-happy to take her in and let her room as long as she needs to. My mom is so selfless that she worries she’ll be a burden on anyone and doesn’t want to “put anyone out.” I love this woman. My mom is my best friend.
In past conversations, we’d talk out the details and how she’d be free to live her life by her means and not someone else’s, she’d begin to grow her self-esteem, and find ways to fill a need. It seems for the past 19 years (that’s how long ago my dad “turned” sour. Frankly, I think just after I was born, he began to show his true colors), she’s been lost and wavering in life. She’s had someone constantly looking over her shoulder, telling her what a horrible person, spending 80% of his time out with other people, and calling her ungrateful because he can provide monetarily. If only my dad knew that money can’t purchase a Good Father. Money will never make up for the past we’ve all endured (separately and together).
Today’s talk, however, I felt more like her confidant and closest friend than just her daughter. I gave her my full opinion, no holds barred, no holding back. I laid it all out on the line. And she took it all- we cried, we laughed, and we planned. I told her that because I saw him constantly yelling at our family and especially her all while growing up, I learned early on that maybe that’s just how the husband treats the wife. I told her that being around him growing up and having to pretend everything was OK changed dramatically who I turned out to be as a person. Ironically enough, she has always secretly wanted to escape from him, but stayed in fear of splitting the family- as that would somehow “hurt us kids.” But you know what? I’d much rather be FROM a broken home than continue to live in one. She’s confirmed that she’s made the decision to split with him and end this, instead of continuing on. My mom plans on making the big cut during the New Year. Until then, she’s going to get everything in order so it isn’t a messy breakup.
My mom is the most giving, most generous, most kind, most selfless person I’ve ever met in my life. She is one of those people who give everything they have and never think of themselves. Her happiness comes from seeing my brothers and I succeeding and being happy in life and she’ll go to the ends of the Earth to make that happen. She deserves so much more than she’s getting here. She deserves a brand new start (even at 59 years old) to make a life for herself. She deserves to savor every last year, minute, and second she’s around. She deserves to be married to a man who loves and supports her, lifts her up, and believes in her dreams. She deserves the world.
I’m still figuring out where this leaves me in the grand scheme of things. Holidays are going to be weird. Family vacations might be nil. I’ll always care about my father as person, but I unfortunately can’t say that I love him. It’ll be really interesting to see how this plays out. But I can’t wait to see my mom standing up for herself and her needs, rather than just stand idly by that I’ve learned to all of my life.