Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Birthday Blues

Today is what I laughingly refer to as the third anniversary of my 49th birthday, as I do NOT accept to bein' in the fifties! I know, it's just a number, and ya only feel as old as ya wanna feel. Mentally and emotionally, I haven't grown up yet (no comments from the peanut gallery now!), physically there are times when my body feels OLDER.
I've posted a wee bit about feelin' blue today. There's a reason for it besides not havin' enough dough to go out with the DH to celebrate. There's always later. This is a very busy time of year, what with Christmas bein' only nine days away, and next month is the DH's birthday and our anniversary. So there's plenty of time to celebrate these events.
Speakin' of anniversaries, the main reason I'm feelin' blue today is NOT because of the financial situation. It's just feelin' a little lost. Y'see, 16 December, 1959, was my parents' third anniversary. And that's why I'm feelin' blue.
Most all y'all who know me well know that me Mum and Dad split after 26 years of marriage. I've always been OK with that. Daddy remarried, Mother didn't. Got to talk to Daddy today. Didn't talk to my birth mother, though she has, after five years or so of silence, reached out.
What a lot of you don't know is that my mother is chronically mentally ill, and has been for decades. Bein' the only child, I have been on the receivin' end of her delusions whenever her meds aren't right. It became necesarry after her last episode to separate myself from any contact with her. It's been difficult.
Two years ago, she sent a birthday card that was fairly harmless. The DH opened it to check for any literary time bombs. It was a typical 'over the hill' birthday greeting. The thought was appreciated, but I didn't respond to it.
This year, she sent an epistle for the holiday season/birthday time, probably hopin' it wouldn't be discarded in all the holiday mail we receive at this time of year (which reminds me, I will be gettin' my share of Watchers of Anarchy and personal Christmas greetings out, but they'll be late. Postage).
Inside the envelope was a Christmas card that wasn't a slap in the face, and a letter.
Again, the DH checked it for literary land mines, and left it for me to read. I kinda asked him to just tell me what was in it, but he insisted I trust his judgement to know whether it would hurt or not.
Well, it did kinda hurt, though not in the way I expected. The letter was wistful to some extent, expressing bemusement that she's outlived her mother by ten years and her father by five, and that she hopes she doesn't live as long as great grandma (her grandma), who died at 97.
She wanted to make peace. Even apologized for one of the last episodes that caused me to break away from her in the first place.
And that's why I'm feelin' a little blue.
Because I'm not sure that it's in me to accept the olive branch.
It's not that I don't love my birth mother. She gave me life, and she gave me a lot of wonderful memories from growin' up in a parsonage (house that the church supplies to the minister). Of goin' to the library on Saturdays to load up on books for the week; of goin' to movies when we could afford it (2001 a Space Oddysey and gettin' contact highs from the wacky weedus bein' smoked in the theatre is one vibrant memory); of sharin' an interest in Star Trek and KISS (and the Friday nights when she'd sit in front of the television holdin' the microphone to the reel to reel tape player to the speaker to record Trek).
I recall birthday dinners out to a nice restaurant with the parents, where they would let it slip that it was my birthday, and not say a word about their anniversary. Sure enough, at the end of the meal, came the staffers to sing 'HB' and present a small slice of cake to me. Even though this day was barely a week before Christmas, the folks always made sure the day was special and not a part of the holiday festivities.
Ane I also recall the moves, and riding in the car with Mother and the cats to our new appointment, somewhere in Southern Indiana. The cats would be in carriers Daddy had built, and would cry about the trip. We would stop at a drive in (picture the type where you pulled into a shaded parking place, placed your order over a squawk box, and the car hop brought a tray that fitted to the window to the car). We'd ask for bowls of water for the kitties, and the car hop would always coo over them.
Though I inherited both parents' eye troubles and other health issues, and also inherited the temper from both sides, my parents gave me wonderful gifts in the ability to make music (sing and play piano/guitar), and to write.
Which brings me back to the reason for this blog, and why I feel a little depressed on my date of birth.
I miss my mother, and wish we could be close again, like we were in my childhood. Like we were before I lost her to the demon of her mental illness.
But Life can be cruel in that respect. We can go forward, we can try to stand still, but we can never go back. Maybe that's a good thing. If only one could move forward and take the lessons learned with us (OK, we have that capability, but we forget to take the lessons along - or at least I do!).
The lessons learned in the past tell me that unlockin' this particular bricked and boarded up door is not a good idea. There is only a lot of eventual pain waitin' for me there. It might not come right away, but it's there waitin' like the room full of snakes in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I sense from Mother's letter that she believes her days are numbered, though she doesn't state anything is ailin' her. She mentions several times where to find her 'Final Plans', and is probably another reason why she is wanting to make peace.
Some will read this and think 'Want some cheese with that whine?' or even 'What kind of bitch daughter ignores their mother?' It's not things that I haven't thought myself. Fact is, no one can be harder on me than I've been.
Eventually, I hope to come to peace - or at least to terms - with this decision. I've written a response to her letter - only parts of which I've shared with all y'all. Have given the response to the DH to examine. He offered to tell her 'thanks, but no thanks.' Sweet offer, but I can't hide behind him in this matter.
We change as we grow older, and so do birthdays. I still look forward to birthdays and Christmas, maybe not with the childish enthusiasm of yesteryear. We've been invited to see a 'drag performance' later tonight, no cover, no minimum, and I think we'll go. It'll be fun, it'll be unusual.
It might even lift me out of the birthday blues.
To all the people in my life on Twitter and FB, who have or will be sending good wishes. Thank you. I love all y'all, for real.