Monday, January 3, 2011

Perhaps this explains a lot

I’ve often wondered why I am who I am; why I turned out the way I did.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad person; I’m actually a very decent person with a big heart.  But sometimes it’s just too damn big for my own good.  I love both sides of my family.  A branch of my paternal family were of Scottish heritage (the name Riddle derives from “Rye dale”, or valley of rye – I think); and tended to keep their chins to their chests, and their emotions in check.  Not that they weren’t emotional; just that they kept outbursts to virtually nil.  This was perhaps because my grandmother (my Shasha) had to raise 5 boys mostly on her own, while Grand Dad was a lifelong Navy man.  She also managed to do this, while her mother-in-law lived with her for some 40 years, or so.  Patience was what I beheld in this saint of a woman, and I believe it rubbed off on her progeny.  OTOH, a branch of my maternal family was of Irish heritage; and a little more inclined to wearing their hearts on their sleeves.  My maternal grandmother (Mama Brucie) was very emotional; and I believe a lot of her rubbed off directly onto me.  It didn’t matter if she was sad, or happy; tears would flow freely whenever family got together.  This was always a source of confusion for me growing up – one side of my family keeping it in, and one side of my family freely letting it out.  I too find myself misty-eyed, even when I’m happy.  Just like my Mama Brucie. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and more sentimental, but the gist of who I feel I am today is probably best not explained by those who I’ve surrounded myself with; rather it’s more than likely based upon who’s been missing.  My mother.

I haven’t seen my mother in perhaps 18-19 years.  I believe it all started when I went to move in with my father at the age of (almost) 15.  It was one of *those things*; a boy maturing into a young man, and who required his own opinion on things.  I don’t think it was too much to ask for; but apparently it was, and off I was sent packing to my father.  My mother then proceeded to move out of state, and into a whole new life.  She worked in her career for a while, and then eventually began to move around the country a lot.  Colorado, Oklahoma, Hawaii.  I think Tennessee may have been in there at one point; and a bit of world traveling.  Anyhow, ever since I was fifteen years old, I can literally count on one hand (including the year I briefly lived in Colorado when I was 18) the periods I’ve seen my mother.  Scratch that, make it a half-dozen; I went out to see her graduate from Seminary College back before I was married.  Anyhow, the last time I saw my mother was when my son was either 2 or 3.  He's now 21. There were perhaps some bullshit reasons why there was so much distance between us at the time; but honest to God, I can’t remember anymore.  I miss my mother so much; but life has seemingly taken over, and we're running out of time, and there's so much space between us.  All I do know is that I miss her so much; and her absence in my life I now realize has created a hole within me that I don’t know I could ever span.  And the effect I now believe this has had on my relationships; well… perhaps that’s best left for another time.


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