Thursday, February 16, 2017
So I did it. I gave my mom my personal blessing to go to the Galactic Council’s facility, far from me. I damned near choked on it, but I did it.
Heavenly prophets, she looked so relieved even though she knew I’d signed off on it. Me saying it was okay meant a lot to her. So even though my heart’s not in it, I guess it’s the right thing to do after all.
“If your psychiatric team okays it, we could set up regular coms. That way Anrel can keep seeing you. She won’t forget her mimi,” I said.
“That’s a great idea, Shalia,” Mom said. “I’ll ask to do it weekly. If they say that’s too much, I’ll demand monthly coms, at the very least.” A hint of the old go-to-hell Eve sparked in her eye. “And I’ll expect message updates from you. Any news you have to share, send it voice without waiting for live coms. Just because we can’t talk everyday doesn’t mean I don’t want to know what’s happening.”
“Got it. You’ll hear all the latest and greatest. Do you want stills?”
“Damned right I want stills. And when that baby starts walking, I’d better get a vid or it’s your ass.”
Okay. Maybe they wouldn’t ‘cure’ all of the old Eve away from the new one. And I’ll be honest; it was good to see something in her face I couldn’t remember seeing before. Hope.
Her eyes were distant as she contemplated what her future might hold. “I wish I could say I can be anything, but I doubt I’ll ever complete a marathon or scale a mountain at this late date. But there are opportunities. I can study art. Writing. Nursing. Hell, I might decide to go into psychiatry. I’ll come back and analyze old Dr. Ken until he agrees he’s full of shit.”
I laughed, but I felt shaky. Yep, still plenty of the old Mom, but there was a lot of that new personality showing up too. The mix of familiar and stranger was unsettling.
This is her life. She has every right to it and what she wants to make of it. I’m not a clinging child. I’m not going to hang on if she needs to move away to realize the real Eve. What the hell, this separation is good practice for when Anrel grows up and enters her adult life.
Mom smiled at me with that strange peace that’s showing up more and more each day. “You have so many opportunities I didn’t. Even before Earth was blasted all to hell, you had a good head on your shoulders. Don’t sell yourself short, Shalia. Don’t let anyone stand in your way of who you want to be, even if it’s someone who loves you. Or three someones.”
I nodded. “It’s easy to get lost in the expectations of others.”
“In the end, you have to live with yourself. With the creature in your head who won’t let you pretend, who can see behind the mask you put on for the rest. Even when you think you’ve drowned her out, she’s waiting for the moment things go quiet so she can shove the truth in your face.”
I nodded. Mom might have her issues, but she is not a dummy. Stupid never made it onto her ingredients list.
Mom sighed and leaned back in her chair to stare at the ceiling. “You can have companions on this journey of life. You can even share with them the entirety of what’s in your heart. But when you’re alone and no one is around to distract you, you realize that in the end, you’re on your own.” She sat up straight and looked me in the eye. “If I never give you another word of wisdom, I’ll give you this. You have to be able to face who you’ve been and what you’ve done when that moment comes. Let me tell you, kiddo, all the excuses in the world sound empty when it comes to that point. If you know right from wrong, you have no justification for the damage you’ve put out there.”
I wasn’t sure if she was referring to herself or me. Maybe she meant both of us. In any case, she was right. Words to live by. I needed to etch them in my heart and mind, so I could do better by those who depend on me.
Three days until Mom leaves. I hate that she’s going. I hate that not so long ago I was willing to give her up. Regrets, regrets, regrets galore. I am indeed facing what I’ve done. Did I have justification? I thought so at the time. Now I’m not sure, and I also don’t know if I can excuse myself if I was wrong.
At least Mom and I will part on decent ground. It’s not what I wanted it to be. It’s not even close. But all I can do now is reap what I’ve sown and try to do better from now on.