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Thinking about my mom...

I've been working on a historical family scrapbook for the last 6 weeks or so. A few weeks ago while I was going through photos, I found some of my mom and her best girlfriends. My mom didn't have a lot of joy in her life, what with being married to an abusive rageaholic, but those girlfriends of hers were dear to her and brought her much joy. I know they sometimes had disagreements - I remember her complaining about them a time or two - but, friends sometimes do. And like good friends, they worked through them and came out with stronger relationships on the other end. Plus, I know they kept her sane, or as close to it as possible.

Oh a whim, I looked up one of the ladies, Ms. M, on crackbook - lo, and behold, I found her. I added her as a friend and we've chatted a few times since. I sent her copies of the photos I had, and I've genuinely enjoyed talking to her. Going through these photos has been quite bittersweet. I've got good memories, but I have a shit ton of bad ones, especially from before I went to boarding school. The happy times in my childhood were generally those times we escaped the hell that was home to visit my grandmother or aunts and cousins.

Last night, Ms. M pinged me and asked if I knew which cemetary my mom was buried in as she was heading to Winnipeg and wanted to visit her grave and put flowers on it. Then she said this to me:

I always felt sorry for all the hard work that your mom did, and her legs had varicose veins (mom had terrible varicose veins, she even had surgery on them once they were so bad) I remember asking her if they hurt and she would say no. A few days after she passed away I dreamt of her dancing in a meadow of wild flowers wearing a white dress with a red ribbon around her waist she was singing. She stopped and said, "M, look, no more varicose veins!"


DUDE, it took me 15 minutes to stop weeping, and just recounting this is bringing it all back. I remember after my mom died, this one day where I had the most intense feeling of I want my mommy! so strongly it was overwhelming, and a couple more times over the years when something struck me as the kind of thing she would have found funny or really enjoyed and thinking I needed to call her, then stopping short with that awful, hollow feeling of realizing afresh that I can't ever share anything with her again. Last night was all that rolled up in one big craptastic package.

It fucking sucks.

So, just FYI, going through old family photos can be wonderful, but it can also bring up old pain and buried feelings. God, it's like therapy or something.

I still have more to do, but I think next time, I'm going in with a bottle of wine.

This entry was originally posted at http://shaddyr.dreamwidth.org/382227.html. Please comment wherever you want.

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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
popkin16
Apr. 19th, 2017 03:45 am (UTC)
Sounds like the bottle of wine will be a good addition to the process. I'm glad your mom had people who brought her joy, and I think it's wonderful that you still think of her and the things she liked, even if it's also a terribly sad thing.
shaddyr
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:01 am (UTC)
Yes, wine will soften the edges. I am very glad she at least had some joy - there's nothing like the comfort of friends.
trepkos
Apr. 19th, 2017 06:48 am (UTC)
Sorry you lost her. The scrapbook will be a lovely memorial.
shaddyr
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:05 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'd like to think that she would enjoy seeing it.
selenic76
Apr. 19th, 2017 06:52 am (UTC)
*HUGS* I hope the next time with the photos and stuff will bring out more good memories than bad.
shaddyr
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:07 am (UTC)
*hugs*

You know, mostly it's been good. Usually, people only take pictures of good times. Just sometimes there is something that reminds me of something else. Or I know what happened after a photo was taken - some holiday photos are really bad for that. But, MOSTLY it's good.

Wine will just help it be a little fuzzier. *grin*
kazzy_cee
Apr. 19th, 2017 07:22 am (UTC)
Looking back can be painful but it does sound like there are some lovely memories to cherish too *hugs*
shaddyr
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:09 am (UTC)
Yes, you are right. I am getting more manna from doing this quest than damage.

I get to do fun things too... like cut people out of photos, or layer photos in such a way that I cover up certain people's faces. It's surprisingly satisfying.
teragramm
Apr. 19th, 2017 12:02 pm (UTC)
No matter how old you are, you always miss your mom. My experience of going through my mom's pictures was a bit different because there where all pics of places she visited and people I didn't know, from the places she visited.
shaddyr
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:11 am (UTC)
Yup - it's been just over 11 years, but I still miss her.

I'm sorry you don't have the same connection with your photos - there are certainly plenty that I don't know people in, especially the old ones, but lot that I do. Plus, my mom and grandma did write on the back of a lot of them, so that helps.
snogged
Apr. 19th, 2017 12:30 pm (UTC)
*hugs tight*
shaddyr
Apr. 21st, 2017 02:11 am (UTC)
*hugs*

thanks!
pondside
Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:22 am (UTC)
It IS therapy. Hugs!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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