Sunday, July 12, 2015

Life, interrupted .....

If you've spent any time around women, you've probably heard one of them say, "I can't believe it, I'm turning into my mother!"  Quite often, we do take on characteristics of our mothers, since that's what we've grown up with.

In my case, because I had three mother figures, I ended up taking on characteristics of all three.  Unfortunately, none of them were good characteristics.

Given the numerous dysfunctions in my life, I don't know why I ever thought I was capable of being a good mother.  Ego ... pride ... hubris?  Whatever, I was confident that I'd never make the mistakes the adults in my life had made.

And yet .....

On December 28, 2008, I received the following e-mail from my son:

 I got the box a few days ago. I threw it away. Anything else you send me will either be similiarly trashed, or returned. Any emails you send will be deleted unopened, any calls you make unanswered and unreturned. I will never communicate with you again after this email, nor accept anything from you again.
I hope you can find happiness in your life.

This was the last communication I had from him, as he committed suicide two days later.  He was 22.

As soon as I heard the news, it was like a blindfold had been pulled from my eyes.  It was a moment of great clarity and I was immediately aware of my inadequacy as a mother. I realized how much I'd repeatedly hurt and disappointed him in his too-short life.  I understood, with soul-crushing certainty, that his death was, without question, my fault.

I will carry the grief and guilt with me for the rest of my life.

Spring Break in Florida, 1996

Of all the many regrets in my life, this is the greatest. You are my heart, Taylor, and I still miss you so much.

I'm sorry.