I’m heading to 48 years old. A fairly grown up age. In some senses, I’ve always been grown up. I was often described as mature in childhood, well before I truly understood its meaning. In other ways, I can’t voice the grown-up version and so my childlike view has to do. I can reason that to a positive - children have a clear and simple understanding of the world and that ethos renders even the wisest spellbound. Long live childhood clarity.
I spent too long believing my mother to be my guide. I feel so guilty even typing those words. (Not to mention if ever this blog became known...)
Two women have unknowingly stepped into the abyss. Women I have known all my life. Literally all of my life. They have been there since before I was born, and they are there now. They’ve always been creative, loving, beautiful, strong women but I was often led to see them as drains, ineffectual and surplus. Now that I see, I can really see.
In lockdown, I found a freedom. I could legitimately check on these women and I would not be queried nor questioned. My blood would not wonder why I was having more contact than just a perfunctory hello. I could connect with them for my own benefit and for theirs. And, because the world has been disjointed, nothing could be read into it. No need to be jealous because there was no evidence it happened.
One lost her mum during tight lockdown. She lives alone. I was able to support her from afar. Even on the day of the funeral, when I could only attend online, I still could deliver a fresh lunch to her doorstep so there would be something to come back to. It made me happy. It made her cry and she said she’d never forget it. My mother said she was sure it would be appreciated. I felt the clipped tone even from her typed word.
The other, well, I’ve discovered she is a much stronger and gentler soul than I had ever expected. Solid in support, she has offered me strength when she has sensed from the smallest comment that I could use a little. I see her in a brand new light from the picture I had been shown.
What is my point? My point is that I’m related to neither of these great women through a blood connection and yet they are my family. I choose them. I don’t un-choose my mother, but I need their love, I need their belief, I need their strength and I have something to offer them too. It’s a two-way street and I choose that to be in my family.
It is brand new ground and I am stepping stones carefully. But I won’t go back.
The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.