Losing a Parent: My Relationship Obituary

I’ve had to stop contact with my mum at least for now because she’s abusive.  But that doesn’t make this easy.  I still love her very much and am writing this obituary to our relationship, focusing on the good stuff. My mum is one of the silliest people I’ve ever known.  At meals I remember her laughing so hard that no one could understand her when she tried to tell a joke.  She used to sing “drunken lullabies” to my sister and me: “Hey Diiiiiiina, bay-bay. Won’t you just–what was I talking’ about?–oh yeah–blow that gosh darn hooooorrrrrnnnnnn?” she would slur. When we stayed in a big hotel in Chicago and there was a concrete convention there, she played spies with us.  We slunk around corners and crawled under tables.  At one point she laughed so hard she thought she had peed her pants–fortunately she hadn’t. My mum is amazing at taking care of you when you’re sick.  She will go to the store and buy you every variety of decongestant there so that you can find the one that works best.  She’s happy to wrap you in a blanket and put on your favorite Disney movie.  She’s kind when you’re grumpy and fussy and says she understands how uncomfortable you are.  Basically, she makes you feel like the most loved baby of all time. My mum is generous.  One day she saw a homeless woman on the street and felt so terrible that she ran home and gathered up half her wardrobe and then drove around in search of that woman.  She cried when she couldn’t find her. My mum is helpful.  She found scholarships and internships for me to apply to.  She set up a Girls on the Run program so that I could coach it.  She helped me through a horrible experience with sexual harassment.  When a boy I tutored took his pants off, she did everything she could to help me.  She reminded me that I wasn’t imagining it. She told me it wasn’t my fault. She stormed to the neighbors house to tell his parents what he had done.  She let me miss school.  She held me as I cried.  She reminded me that in time I would get over it.  She took me to a therapist who specializes in trauma.  She got me through a disgusting experience that could have really messed me up. My mum is strong.  She grew up in a home with every type of child abuse imaginable and managed to heal.  Facing that sort of pain is beyond most people and to not let it cripple you is amazing. My mum is my mum.  She’s a mix of good and bad, and unfortunately the bad overshadows the good. Every child wants two parents.  Every child wants unconditional love.  Sometimes you can’t get that though.  But it doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop loving her.

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