Our mother was not around for a lot of our lives. After our parents divorced, she moved to California, and that was that. For many, many years we rarely heard from her, much less saw her. She not only missed the birth of her first grandchild, she missed many other significant events:
- I graduated from high school
- My sister Abby graduated from college
- I got married
- I graduated from college
- My daughter was born
- My daughter graduated from high school
- And too many birthdays and holidays to list, dance recitals, school events
Now this was not all bad. Abby and I had a new family with our Dad and stepmother, as well as our new sister, Sissy, and our new brother, Kevin. Sissy and Kevin were in my wedding. Our entire family came out to see Abby’s new baby and they returned for his baptism.
Through the years we made a family that worked for us.
We have shared many special times and always celebrate the fact that our dad brought the four of us together. Our blended family has celebrated birthdays, holidays, graduations, new babies, weddings, and been there for each other in the sad times of divorce, despair, and death. Together we have enriched our life experiences and embraced our uniqueness.
Through the years, it was rather strange that for decades our own mother was not at all part of this picture. We did, I found, over time become more accustomed to it. Little did we know that she was still looming, ready to return for a final act in the theater she had built up in her mind.
But in the meantime, with only a phone call from our mother one or twice a year (if that), we grew into our own skins. And over time she became, sadly, a distant memory. And Mother seemed to be happy as a clam living a care-free life in southern California.
During that interval, we laughed more than cried, made up more than held a grudge, supported each other in many ways and psycho-babbled our Mother and various other colorful characters in our family endlessly. If our lips were moving and she could not hear what we were saying, our stepmother often accused us of maligning her good name. Sound familiar?
We have been a family for decades. It is something nobody can take away from us. Together through thick and thin, good times and bad and no matter what will always be there for each other. Now that’s something to celebrate!