Ah, the joys of WM. It's the place we all dread to go, knowing we will come out with far more than we went in for, and having spent more time doing it than we wanted to because, heaven knows, this is the one place that you can run into old boyfriends, elementary school chums, and the everyday meet-n-greet friends that you bump into. Don't get me wrong, we all love seeing these people, but it DOES increase our time spent shopping. None-the-less, this is not the topic I am going to write on.
Unless you have recently run into Madonna in WM (or another star of equal fame), then I've got you beat. Today I ran into my mother. Mother? you ask. Yes. Mother. Why would that be odd? For starters, I have had no contact with the woman for 5 years, 6 months, and 23 days. Easier put, since the moment I began delivering (pushing) during my last child birth. Yep. That's right. She left angry that I would not let her stay in the delivery room with me. How could I be so cold, you ask? Well, this woman did not raise me. She abandoned me at the ripe old age of 8, only to visit my life at about 15 (actually I tracked HER down), and then again after the birth of my first child (5 months after) when I tracked her down AGAIN thinking she might want to meet her grandchild. You can say we were never close and that would be putting it mildly, since she just is not maternal in any way, shape, or form. From then we had an off again/on again relationship. It consisted mostly of letters and phone calls. I simply wanted to know her before she died. (She was 40 when she had me, so that makes her..... LOL!) I tried to look past all her odd little quirks and strange rigidness (especially with her step-children from her 4th marriage). She chose not to be around or visit during or after the birth of my second child. I guess it was just too far to drive (she lived in Springdale and I lived in Little Kansas, Oklahoma). I tried to go see her as often as I could with 2 very small children. When I did move back to Arkansas things didn't really change much. She said she couldn't afford the gas to drive over to see me (now in Gentry) and this was in 2001 before the price hikes of fuel started. During my 3rd pregnancy we often discussed the fact that she was invited to be at the hospital for the birth, but from the beginning I made it clear that there would only be 2 people in the delivery room with me- my husband and his mother. His mother needed to be there b/c he doesn't deal with the sight of blood well and I couldn't help him if he passed out (which he almost did when they simply started the I.V.!). My step-mother had been with me for the previous 2 births, but she and I had been having some issues in our relationship, so I didn't "invite" her to be in the room. HOWEVER, after my baby's heart stopped mid-labor, I was scared and called my step-mom in. This is the woman who has raised me since the age of 8...did she do it perfectly? No, who does?! Was it as if I were her own? No, but we all make mistakes and we do the best we can. Still, this is the woman who was there when it really mattered.
My "mother" insisted that she stay in the room. She had to be escorted out. Outside the door, as I was beginning to push, I heard her yelling and cussing at the doctor. That poor man. She got into it with my dad in the lobby and apparently left the building swearing she'd never forgive me or talk to me again....all as my child was being introduced to this world.
I made phone calls a couple weeks later and spoke with my then step-dad, who said the ball was in her court and she would contact me if and when she "could" get over it. I never heard from her. I saw her once and she ignored me. I wrote. I sent cards and pics. I wondered if they were in the bottom of a trash can....you'd just have to know this bizarre woman whose blood I share (scary thought).
Well, that was her.....in MY Wal Mart today. I won't tell her sad story about why she's back in town b/c it truly is a sad and pathetic story and I do have compassion for her situation. But it's so odd! She really acted as if nothing were wrong or out of the ordinary. Like I was an old friend/aquaintance that she hadn't seen in 5 YEARS!!! At first I was angry, then weepy, then just shocked that I am even related to this woman. Now I am pondering what God has in mind for me. I know she's been brought back into my life for a reason, I'm just not sure I'm big enough to handle it.
If you've read this far, God bless you and your sympathetic ear (eyes). I'm just emotionally frustrated for so many more reasons than I could ever list in a simple blog post. I don't know whether to be mad/sad/sorry or what. It DOES feel better to simply "get it out" though. Thanks to all my sincerest friends who listen (read).
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