Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Tales of the idiotic

Dad told me last night that my grandmother was in the hospital for four days. No one thought to call Dad about it, and it makes me wonder if anyone would have bothered calling Mom. My uncle, Mom’s brother, henceforth known as Uncle McJackass, told Dad last month that it’s important to him that we all stay in touch—all of us, including me. Yet, Uncle McJackass didn’t think to call any one of us when his mother was hospitalized.

Uncle McJackass has always looked down upon our family, probably because he looked down upon Mom. The most obvious of reasons for this is Mom’s teen pregnancy and the resulting child who was adopted in the late 1960’s. Nay mind that Uncle McJackass and Aunt O’Mascara conceived their first child out of wedlock. They had the good sense to get married and live in that same small town. Mom didn’t. Mom had the baby and fought for her dignity and consequently got kicked out of her parents’ house. They denied her her own luggage, so she left with her things in garbage bags. She arrived in the nearby state capital and never looked back.

My father is a slight and gentle man. He isn’t interested in sports or cars or weightlifting. He enjoys the Wall Street Journal, The Newshour, and Terry Gross. He worked in data processing and payroll and now runs a small business. Uncle McJackass watches sports, reads only on the can, and knocked his kids around whenever they lived in his house. Dad and Uncle McJackass are nothing alike. Uncle McJackass believes he is more of a man than my father is.

And then, of course, there’s that lesbian thing. For the last two years, Uncle McJackass sneered at my mother whenever she spoke of me. My mother loved me. My mother was proud of me. She truly loved Brooke and believed that we were capable of building a wonderful life together. She wanted us to have children. Uncle McJackass found himself in a position of moral superiority once again.

Mom was a slut.
She married a sissy.
Her kid is a lesbian.

And she wasn’t even ashamed of herself. She didn’t know enough to be ashamed of herself. Here’s the thing that you know and that I know and that Uncle McJackass wouldn’t understand: She didn’t need to be.

Mom didn’t want to marry anyone just because she was pregnant. Just like Uncle McJackass, the babydaddy still lives in that small town, but now he beats his wife. Mom escaped and found love, and she continued to love until her last breaths. She received love in return.

I’m proud of her.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This gif is freely copyable. Just right click, save
Powered by
RSSify at WCC

Powered by Blogger