My Mum is in town. Not Mission Mary, but Bio Betty, and her husband, Stan. I have known Stan since I was about 15 months old. I really can't remember a time without him in my life. Sort of . Most of my memories of either Betty or Stan are somewhat disjointed and fragmented. I can't really be certain about that day in pool was the same day that we went The African Lion Safari. When you are a wee kid and you miss your Mum, the days, hours and minutes seem endless. When you are apart the days feel like a run on sentence when you are missing her. Funny how our minds work when we are small. Mine still works differently then most, I think. I am convinced of it actually.
At any rate, my Mum is in town. I have not seen her in about 2 1/2 years, right around my 39 th birthday - or was it my 38th? Betty was in town for the funeral of her sister, my beloved Aunt Kaddy. We had numerous family get togethers - the funeral itself, the bbq's and reunions..I did try to speak with her once, but it just seemed to upset her more, so I refrained from any interaction with her - even when we sitting at a table for 5, with well, three other people.
I do love my Mum. She is a force of nature. Truly. Her temper is well known in the family, but what may not be equally as renowned is her compassion for her loved ones. Betty and Stan spend six solid weeks at the bedside of my Aunt Ferfie. Stan changed the bed sheets (and take my word for it when I say that my step father can change bed sheets faster, and better than any nurse of PSW out there). I also know that my Mum brews the best cuppa tea that you will ever drink. She can sew just about anything that she sets her mind too, using only the pattern in her minds eye. My girls have been the proud owners of many Halloween costumes made exclusively by Nannie. We still have fancy barbie doll quilts that were made by hand for a three year old KC. That three yr old is now almost 22 and can not bare to part with it.
I know just how she feels. I recently found a letter written to me by my Mum, in 1983. I was just 14 then, and I missed her tremendously.
It reads, in part:
Thanks for sending the geography test. You did really well. I'm so proud of you. Keep it up, dear. Also, keep sending your school work, I love to see it.
There it was, in black and blue, the words that I had longed to hear from her my whole life had been neatly tucked away in a hat box on my shelf..
but wait, there was more:
Thank God you are coming down in the summer. I miss you so much and you are so far away. I'm so lucky to have a daughter, especially one like you. We will spend so much time together. It will be just great. Now we both have something nice to look forward to.
and finally, the closing:
Well, Biddy girl, I must go now. Take care of yourself. Write soon. Don't forget, I love you.
Mum and Stan
26 years after than letter was written, we barely speak. My heart aches for her, and yet, she makes me so angry at times that I want to strangle her. The older that I get, the more I understand that so much of this is just growing pains. KC and I can fight like Tyson and Holyfield, but we have never missed a holiday, a birthday, Mothers Day...Kayla and I are more like cage fighters, and yet we still manage to laugh it off, even if does take a day or so.
I can't imagine my life without girls, all three of them. They drive me insane, make me laugh until I pee (I have been told that I am not alone in this, but I would never mention my Auntie by name). Sometimes I want to hide away from the world - and them, but the reality of it is - they are my world.
I wonder when Betty woke up and decided that she was moving on without me, and I wonder sometimes, if there is compass waiting to lead me to her.
My dear Uncle is gravely ill and on life support. Of course, Betty is here to help my Auntie, and I am sure that she will. I am equally as certain that she will ignore me as she always has.
This time, however, I will cling to the faded paper and the faded memories.
She may not recall the good times, but I do, and that may have to be enough.