This is a strange turn of events but I have recently been talking more to my mom and if you can believe this, am traveling out to see her. I have had a turbulent relationship with my mom, and for that matter with my whole family, but I do think it's pretty sad when family members don't get along. This is especially true because my mom is getting old and has health problems. Now don't get me wrong, my mom is a difficult person who has alienated every single person in her social circle, including her family, and throughout it all she will never, EVER even consider the fact that she has some role in this dynamic. It is always "I didn't do anything wrong," even though the reality is that in any conflict everyone has to have some blood on their hands, especially if you're such a difficult person. How can someone not see this?
Whatever be the case, I have kept in touch with my mom but have kept her at arm's length. Living 3000 miles away helps, and the fact that she would never consider visiting Vermont, which she genuinely considers to be a hillbilly state. I let her know how the kids are doing and send her cards, letters, and pictures throughout the year, but we don't visit her that often.
My brother, on the other hand, has been a very dedicated son for the past several years. I won't go into the specifics or the sordid past (and believe me, it's sordid), but recently he has been a presence in her life. He lives in Cali so it's easier for him, though I'm sure he takes his share of abuse when he's down there. Now for whatever reason there seems to be a rift. I called my mom at Christmas to say happy holidays and that's when I learned that this was going on. Apparently they had a big falling out and things have not been mended. I'm not sure what exactly happened because everyone's got a different story, and believe me when I tell you that when you're talking to my family, you almost never get the whole story, or for that matter, the complete truth. I really don't know who to believe, it's always the "other person's" fault.
I called my brother to get his version and sure enough neither of them will budge. My mom does have some health problems, and there is all sorts of drama surrounding her life. She asked if I would come out and I said yes. The truth is she wanted my brother and I to come out for the past couple of years so we could all be together, and I, being the bad son, dropped the ball every time. I understand they are both mad at me, so I need to make a little more effort to team player. That's why I'm flying out.
There is never an ideal time to fly out to LA because it costs money and time, neither of which I have much of. Then again, I also think I've been too much of a flake to put this off, so I'm going. I'm not looking forward to any potential fireworks between me and my mom, which always seems to be a part of our interactions, but I'd also like for all three of us to get along. I've been harboring bitterness and resentment for decades, maybe it's time to let it all go and get over it.
I guess this is the first step. We'll see how it goes.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Split Shire for the pic.