Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Rose Princess

In our never ending struggle to dig out our family room, we
occasionally discover treasure. Not often, but enough that we don't
just hire a large dumpster and wholesale-ly trash everything.

Monday, we found The Rose Princess - a beautiful doll that my mother
set aside for me. My mother liked to collect beautiful things and
some of them she took special care to have enough for each of her
daughters. Dolls and rings, are what come to mind. I don't know about
the dolls, but I think that she made sure she had rings for all her
daughters including "adopted" daughters and daughers-in-law and her
granddaughters. She wanted each one of us to have something from her.

My mother and I always had a prickly relationship. I didn't FEEL she
loved me. I continually understood that I was a disappointment to
her. I don't remember that so much as young child, but definitely as
a teen and on into adulthood. I never, ever measured up.

When I was a teen, after her 3rd divorce when she was interested in a
totally unavailable man I was sometimes her confidante. That was a
little weird and uncomfortable But I know that when I confided in
her about my concerns and struggles, she used it against me and
attacked me in my vulnerable spots.

I felt sometimes like we were competitors. She flirted with my
boyfriend. A very unfair competition. She was far prettier, more
talented, and more coquettish.

How much of it had to do with how very young she was when I was
born?!! She was only 17. Many a time, angry at some perceived lack of
responsibility, she would yell at me, "When I was your age, I was
married and had a boby to take care of!" In my mind I would answer,
"Yeah, well I am not that stupid."

I think she sometimes resented her shortened youth.

I have to say that I was a pretty good kid and fairly responsible
teen. I took care of my brothers and sisters and a lot of the house
work while she was at work and off chasing men or, more perhaps
accurately, allowing men to chase her. But I couldn't do it all. And
it seemed that all she noticed was what I didn't get done.

She had a horrible fear of being alone in her old age. She told me
that one day the children would leave and she didn't want to be alone.
I thought, "If we are so unimportant to you now, indeed we will!"

Anyway, our relationship remained rocky and prickly pretty much until
the end of her life.

I think that near the end, as she saw what wonderful children I have,
seeing the problems in some other families, and not knowing of my
marital troubles that would eventually lead to divorce, she was not
QUITE as disappointed in me. But by then I was fat and of course, my
house was always messy, so I didn't gain all that much ground.

When I visited her very shortly before her death, hugged her and told
her I loved her, my sisters there were nearly shocked. Mom made what
is reported to be her last effort to speak trying, we all assume, to
tell me that she loved me

Here's the Rose Princess telling me that my mother loved me at least a
little and in her own way. She wasn't perfect any more than I am.
Perhaps I am ready now to accept it.

1 comment:

  1. I'll go in chronological order and comment on this post first.

    That was a powerful post. The truth, Mom? I think she was jealous of you. Jealous that you had your youth while her's was cut short (due to her own choices), so she dumped her responsibilities on you to rob you of part of yours. She was jealous that you married a man who was active in the church and you had a temple sealing to all of your children. Jealous that your children loved and liked you instead of fearing you like her's did.

    I bet she loved you very much but was too jealous and prideful to show it, until the end. Remember, most of the time when someone tears another person down, it's because they are trying so desperately to make themselves appear better - because they don't think they can any other way. :S

    The legacy and gifts you have given your children and grandchildren are far more valuable than dolls or rings. (Besides, my ring from her turns my finger green. lol)