(Today is my birthday, so it's fitting that I opened to a passage about my mother.)
April 9, 1999
I'm so angry with my mother. She's such a snot.
When we were hanging out in her room Sunday, I said "Mom, think of me. All my sisters will probably die before me, Ellis will probably die before me...what am I going to do?
"Well," she said in a mean, sing-song voice, "You'll have to live in a nursing home." She said it gleefully, like ha-ha, ha-ha.
"Right," I said, "and who will be my advocate?"
She just shrugged, with a mean little smile on her face. She's such an asshole.
I felt like saying, "I hate you. You're a cold bitch and I can't wait until you die."
Part of what I was obsessing about when I couldn't sleep this week was what I could possibly say at her memorial service that wouldn't be mean and that wouldn't be false.
I can't get up in front of a bunch of people who liked her and say, "What I will mostly remember about my mother is that she was a snotty, bigoted, childish, self-centered addict and alcoholic."
Maybe some magical alchemy occurs when someone dies* that releases some positive memories that remain inaccessible while he or she is being so icky and hard to deal with.
*It does. My mother has been dead for over seventeen years now. What I do mostly remember about my mother is how stoic and uncomplaining she was. She self-medicated to deal with horrible health problems - she suffered from severe, crippling rheumatoid arthritis for decades and also had emphysema and COPD. And she NEVER complained about her constant aches and pains and state of disability (whereas I'm a sniveling baby about my health issues), except when she had shingles on top of everything else. Then for weeks she kept moaning and urging us to call Dr. Kevorkian.
My mother was a lot of fun to be around - always up for a party, always exhorting Ellis to order a steak and a martini if we went out to eat (on her).
If I could speak with her now, my first question would be: SO, would you have voted for RUMP? She was a life-long conservative republican, a racist WASP who thought it was HIGH-larious to refer to the section of Lake Geneva where the local hispanic population congregated as "Taco Beach." (But she would never have been unkind to someone who needed help.)
My mother was also a generous supporter of environmental organizations. She loved wild life and wild places and birds; she cared about this earth and our climate. And, she had four daughters and three grand-daughters. AND she hated vulgarity. What would she have done in that voting booth??