Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday 2009

Thanksgiving was typical with a splash of something new. Andrew and I met his family; mother, step-father, brother and grandmother, at Gustov's last night. We ate and left in under an hour. I was happy for the invite and thankful Andrew's step-father paid. I'd give more details but it was quite uneventful. They are not a talkative bunch. Although, I was surprised by how irritated the grandmother got when a child, maybe a year and half old, was crying in the restaurant. She was so annoyed, she left!

The crying child was three or four tables away in a booth. He was fussy but I guess it didn't bother me. I felt bad for his parents but they let him cry for a few minutes and then one of them took him outside until he calmed down. Perhaps Andrew's grandmother is not used to going to a family restaurant on a holiday... I absolutely expected the restaurant to be crowded and noisy. I was surprised by her absolute intolerance of the fussy child and how everyone at the table told her she could leave. I guess it made her extremely uncomfortable...? To me, it was background noise.

The splash of new is I went to my mother's house after dinner at Gustov's. Andrew met my mother and her boyfriend, Jerry. This is a first. A boyfriend met my mother. Amjad has met my mother but it was always extremely brief and the situation would be saturated with drama. I believe he met her at our Senior Prom. My mother came over to what used to be her house w/the family, and took pictures of us. And the second time they communicated was a couple months later when Amjad and I graduated high school. My Dad took the entire family out to dinner.

We arrived at the house and chatted up Jerry, who was cleaning up the kitchen. To my surprise my only uncle on my mother's side, Gene, was spending time w/his grandmother, my great grandmother, Helen, at the house. Andrew and I joined them downstairs and made small talk. I haven't seen my Great Grandmother Helen since 1987 and I haven't seen my Uncle Gene in nearly 6 years.

We made our way upstairs and met up with my sisters, Emily and Katie, and while we stood in their door way and talked my mother came out of her bedroom. My boyfriend officially met my mother. Nothing awkward. She said hello, she was waking up from a nap. Andrew and I stayed maybe another 15 minutes, said hi and bye to everyone.

The hardest part was coming home and Andrew having no idea what a gigantic step that was. I felt a little sad. There were five years of my life where my mother and I could not speak to each other. Our emotions did not allow us to talk - we could only scream or not stand to be in the same room w/the other. All I ever felt was anger. I used to pray to Jehovah to forgive me for hating my mother. I hated the things she did and said - I was consumed by my anger. I did not have the maturity to take in the big picture, all I saw was her leaving and hearing her lies. And since all we could do was scream, I was not allowed in her home, on her property - I was not allowed to visit my siblings. I would call and leave messages with no returns. I would call and someone would answer and immediately the phone would slam down in my ear. I was hospitalized and she did not come, she did not call. I was not acknowledged as one of her children.

It took me five years to mature, experience life w/o a mother's guidance, get therapy and just let go of that anger that I used to shield myself from the pain I was really feeling over my parents divorce and at the loss of losing my sister; who left w/my mother when she moved out of the house. Five years is a fifth of my life!

Andrew didn't get it or was not interested. His shoulder was hurting him. I just felt like crying. What do you do when a huge moment happens and no one around you cares? I just wanted someone to say, "this is so awesome that you and your mother can finally do this." B/c so much heartache is just below the surface. So many questions, so much time lost, so many things we both missed out on.

But to look to the future, hopefully this continues. Hopefully I can continue to process things w/o anger and letting go of the past. And in turn, she continues to let me come over and we can chat, perhaps about something other then the dogs. Maybe school, maybe life, maybe what the hell have you been doing since 2003?

It is Black Friday. I feel a little isolated yet I'm at work. I don't have class tonight, so that's awesome. I will remember this Thanksgiving for years to come.


Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

I'm happy you got to see everyone. I know how big that was.

Hayley Freakin' Rules said...

Thanks! It felt like "a moment."

Don't know if you've seen Helen since '87 but she's beating all odds; totally lucid and spunky. You'd never guess she's almost a century old.

Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

I couldn't tell you the last time I saw Helen. Good for her!

Maybe having her around will be good for our mother.