Listening to tunes on the radio often brings inspiration for story telling. After all, isn’t that what most songs are? A particular title has been hovering and buzzing around in my head and it is just seems right to tell the tale now.
Mother had difficulty in parenting, people skills, work skills and just about every other skill you can name. She was really good at one thing: setting a bad example. Thanks to Mother, my sister Abby and I knew how not to live, how not to keep and make friends, how not to work and how not to parent when it was our turn to take on that role.
We were not tattle tales because we knew that in all likelihood our mother would punish us both just because she could. Never one to mince words, she did not think much of tattlers. We learned it would be wasted energy and could possibly cause more trouble, so we chose not to tattle. I liked to keep my arm in its socket so I tried not to set her off!
Mother was so unpredictable that you became very suspicious if she was in a good mood. First of all, you knew it wouldn’t last and secondly, since it was no doubt brought on by liquor or pills, the mood could change as rapidly as a speeding out of control train.
Lamenting her fits or hits, she would cry and bellow and beg for forgiveness. My sister and I just kind of nodded and thought whatever. It would happen again and again and so we knew the pattern.
Later in life when she was in a nursing home, with no access to booze, she had her moments of stark realization of what a lousy parent she had been. However, as with most regrets, just like the song says, “It’s a little too late to do the right thing now.”
They say forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, to free yourself from all that baggage. Abby and I forgave our mother long ago. She had mental problems, was addicted to alcohol, pills, food and who knows what else. We have forgiven but we will not forget. After all, all that baggage took a long time to unload.