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The point is she's dead.  Those of you who know me know I'm speaking of my mother, who died February 17, 2012.  Those of you who know me and that I've connected with are aware that this was a long, difficult process.  My mother and I weren't close and my family's dysfunction was on a level so extreme, in its own unique and uniquely passive aggressive way, that if the exquisite pain it's caused were any worse, I would probably be toxic right now.

I know some of you have been waiting for me to reach out and for me that's not easy.  I can only let people get so close.  If this helps in understanding why, okay.  If not, okay.  What I write here is as much as I'll ever say about my mother and my losing her.  

Regarding how her final wishes were carried out, I assume her husband carried out her final wishes as she wanted them and given my history with her, her end came exactly as I anticipated it would, but for her having a funeral or memorial service and an obituary in the local newspapers.  I incorrectly assumed these two details were "a given", which, in fact they were not.  

I did go to see her when she was hospitalized this past September w/pneumonia, right after the cancer showed up in her lung.  The third metastases since her original diagnosis beginning w/breast cancer in May of 2010.  I could get into all the details, but what would be the point?  Dead is dead if it happens from one second to the next or if it takes volumes of time and eats away at their bodies and our souls.  It's all the fucking same.  All I'll say about that trip was that it was to give her the chance to atone and was shocked to discover that in her mind, things were fine between us, just the way they'd always been from her view, which had little to do with reality.  The thing is, it was her reality and that's the only reality she's ever been able to see.  My gift to her was letting her die believing it.  

My mother was a deeply ill woman, suffering from mental illness at a time and place when many didn't believe it was really an illness at all into a family who believed, inflexibly,  that  mental illness didn't exist, just weak people.  She passed it on to me.  A sad ending to a sad life.  Rest gently, Mom.

On my end, I'm holding my own.  My ex was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer on December 12th of last year and I've been caring for him.  He's doing well on chemo for now.  Haven't had the second round of testing yet, but his side effects are almost eerily minor.  I'm grateful and I'll take it.  Thank you, universe.

All I'll add is that I will always fight for abortion rights.  I'm the poster child for it.  Catholic women should not be made to feel guilty for ridding themselves of fetuses they have no ability to care for upon arrival or thereafter; it's just not in them.  Some women are not maternal or nurturing.  It's not a crime.  What is a crime is guilting them into having children that they do not want and, likely, didn't expect.  Not all of these women are "allowed" (for lack of a better word - give me a break, it's late here and I'm exhausted) to "give away their babies" because they come from ethnic families, who would have no problem disowning these young women and to many of these women, the mental blow of losing their family construct is not an option.  And while that may sound like a price many are willing and able to take, the fact is that there are also many women, even now in 2012, who aren't mentally/emotionally able to walk away from their "family structure" without looking back.  Understand it or not, they just can't.

That said, my mother was born in 1932 and came from an Italian Catholic blue collar family.

Again, to all that reached out, thank you.  I know many of you weren't aware and that you care, so I wanted to at least touch base with those of you who do.  

Rest gently, Mom.  I hope you are at peace and that wherever you are doesn't seem as disappointing to you as so much of this life, especially me, seemed.  Be well, sincerely.  I forgive you; you were born into a fucked up situation and weren't taught love either.  I'm glad I learned it on my own, in all of my version's fucked-upedness.  I made some mistakes along the way with you too; I hope you forgave me.  I hope my sons w/be as forgiving w/me when my time comes.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way w/them too.  I could hold on to the bitterness, but it's just too heavy and I hope to show my sons a better way.  There are more than quite a few republicans in my mother's family, maybe they'll see that and rethink things.  That'd be a nice legacy to her.

Here's to you, Mom.  The only woman I know who voted for Lyndon LaRouche and honestly believed he was the best choice.  

Weigh that against the stunner my father hit me w/the last time I saw him alive, face to face (that he voted for McCain), and it dazzles the senses and leaves you lightheaded. You can't make this shit up.  I loved them both as best I could.

Won't be commenting; it's late here. and I've said as much as I want to say.  As always, thanks to any and all who read this.

(Fair warning:  This video contains what some may find to be very, very graphic and/or possibly offensive lyrics.  If you think you might be offended, it's probably best that you don't watch.  I'm hurting right now and in a dark place from time to time and feeling fairly graceless often and no, I'm not suicidal to any who might try to read that into any of this; grief has a life all its own.)

1:50 PM PT: About an hour ago, I got a phone call from my mother's husband. It went very, very well. He's heartsick and heartbroken.  He followed my mother's final wishes to the letter. He wasn't able to contact me because my mother had saved every phone number we all (me, my ex, my sons) have collectively had over the years and he was calling us all at phone numbers that were and probably have been obsolete for some time. My heart broke for that man sincerely. He misses her horribly and is genuinely lost without her. She had that power over men.  She was the love of my father's life as well.  In any case, I wished him well, comforted his pain and forgave him.   I told him he was welcome to contact me any time.

Originally posted to Dreamland on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Grieving Room and Community Spotlight.

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