Two years ago, on a Monday, about 7:30am EST, (2:30pm CAT time where I live), my mother died. From that time til the home called my brother in NY and he to me, was about 3pm. It was a call I knew would come, and one I dreaded. My brother never calls that time in the afternoon, rarely did anyone else, so it was a foregone conclusion when I picked it up, heard his voice, and knew before he said anything.
My partner and I coordinated a seaside service the same day and time as my bother and his nephews held one alone by a sixteen foot Japanese maple tree. It was the same one we scattered my father's ashes under in '95. This one we planted, the second tree (since the first was undermined by insects), that we chose to plant for my sister two decades earlier.
Mothers and daughters.
Entire libraries could be filled with that relationship, whether by birth or choice.
Things we do, and don't do. Things I learned were topics best not discussed because my mother couldn't get past her dislike of the actions. Patterns set are hard to break, even years after.
Decades ago, a spot of blood on my brother's shirt became a point of hysterics when Mom found out it came from a scratch he'd gotten from his partner, same as now, with whom he'd had sex and she scratched him. Mom didn't speak to J for years, wouldn't even see his partner, whom he considered his wife, because of the scratch.
Same pattern, my sister G met a man she lived with until her death. Mom couldn't wrap her mind around that 'sin' of living together and didn't speak to my sister for years, wasting so much time.
I'd talk to G on the phone, travel to see her. Mom would send a card, money, but for years she held that 'living together is wrong' bullshit tight to her bosom.
Eventually, they did reconcile, Mom met G's partner who cared more about her than the man she'd married and divorced before. Mom gave G a kidney in '83 since G's were shrunk to the size of walnuts by Type 1 diabetes. G had 5 good years before she died in Nov '88.
So, what didn't I tell Mom whose closed mind was a rock in the river of my life? Like water, I went around, sent tentative drops up every now and again but they slid off, unremarked.
I'm pagan, wiccan. Mom was an atheist downgraded from agnostic and before that a Protestant. She wanted to believe, but there was nothing for her to hold on to.
I feel I'd worked my way up from Protestant to agnostic to seeing the Divine in everything.
Never told Mom I felt more attuned to women than men, again having gone from straight to neuter to lesbian. (Aren't labels wonderful?)
Mom asked, halfheartedly--and I denied, because I didn't want to get into that empty useless discussion and have her not talk to me for years. I wanted her to grow up, and failing that, I said nothing so as to keep her happy in her small space where she was comfortable. I knew we had very little in common, and what little we did was superficial most times.
My life sunk below the riverbed and the rock, finding another way, finding the one who is more a part of me than anyone ever knew.
When Mom met her, she said 'You two look so much alike' and that comment has since come from others on this side of the pond as well.
Mom wanted me to be happy, and I couldn't tell her who is making me so, and why.
End of every phone call, Mom would say, 'Give her my love.'
I could never say, 'Mom, I do.'