Monday, May 29, 2017

Your'e Alive, but it's Memorial Day Anyway

Memorial Day has a different meaning for everyone, whether it's remembering those who gave their life for this country or a loved one that's passed too soon. For me, it's both of these things. I honor everyone that has served this country and lost their life in doing so. I also honor my grandparents who had their own story and history that make me proud of who I am and what I can pass down to my children for generations to come. Yet, it also means accepting that sometimes you have to let go of someone important because the toxicity of the relationship is so damaging that you literally are unable to live a happy life with them in it.

I think of this when I think of my mother. For years we battled with this love/hate relationship. We struggled with trust issues, betrayal, and resentment. However, there were also good times when I would talk to her everyday just to catch up on what was going on in our lives, when she supported me through some of the hardest times I've ever been through, and when we seemed to linger in times of forgiveness. Yet, beneath these moments, there was always something dark and unforgiving. Maybe I never truly forgave her for the abuse she caused me as a child. Maybe I couldn't trust her for the emotional distress she continued to cause me as adult, or maybe I just never felt completely and unconditionally loved by her. My opinion is that I reminded her of the demons in her past and she could never quite move beyond that, or maybe I just reminded her of herself and that pain was too much to bear.

Regardless, I haven't spoken to her for years and I doubt that I ever will again. You hear the term, "they are dead to me", and might think that one is being dramatic. Sometimes, though, it is literally a feeling that you know will never change. I wish her well in life. I truly do, but I know that whatever we may have had, will not come to fruition again. I miss her in certain moments when those good memories still mean something, but then I remember that her abandonment of me, both emotionally and physically, precipitated immense feelings of low self worth.

I've moved beyond the blame game, but I can't move beyond the knowledge that I am better off without her in my life. So today, I think of all those we've lost in our lives, including those who are still out there somewhere, but in essence, have moved on to someplace they can never return from. Memorial Day means many things. For those that live in this place of limbo between someone actually dying and the feeling as if they truly have, I honor you. More importantly I urge you to forgive yourself for saying goodbye, because sometimes there is just no other choice.

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