Monday, May 13, 2013

If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

...I think you know that you're more
than just some fucked up piece of ass...
~ George Michael, Flawless

SMO & her Mom, 1968, age 4
Boomer was always fascinated with my stories about my complicated, long-estranged, relationship with my mother.  He never met her.  She moved to California just as we began dating.   Still, she successfully left a lasting impression on Boomer, one of permanent disdain, as the result of a stunt she pulled while we were planning our wedding.  Very strong, negative feelings, he never let go of - - for someone he had never met.  I didn't get it.  Like her or not, she was (is) my mother, it bothered me that he wouldn't let it go.  After all, I had made my peace - - with her, our history, my feelings, twice in fact, and put it all behind me. It didn't make sense to me why Boomer continued to obsess about her.  He'd be the one to bring her up, often, out of no where.  It was strange to me.  He even told me about conversations he'd had with others, that seemed more gossip fodder than useful dialog. 

You see, I do get it (read Bowing).  I know exactly why he was so fixated on my mother and my relationship with her...

Boomer & his Mom, 1967, age 11
Boomer lost his mom.  She died of breast cancer in 1967; Boomer was 11 - - still a little boy.  Her name was Anna Barbra, but everyone called her Nancy, (don't ask - - I have no clue, but it is very sweet).  From Boomer's stories and letters I've read, Nancy was a wonderful woman.  She was kind, loving, generous, funny, independent.  Boomer always said I would have liked her and she me.  Boomer looked like his mom. Boomer was his mom.  He had all her same wonderful traits.  I read that in letters too and can personally attest to that. 

I can't begin to imagine what it is like to have lost the most influential person in our human development.  The woman who gives us life, provides unconditional love, guides our character, teaches us our social skills, our morals, our ethics, our primary-care takers...the list goes on of the impact a mother has in and on our life.  To have known, loved, and lost that irreplaceable person, and at such a tender time of our growing years - - early adolescence.  My heart always aches for Boomer's loss.  His constant curiosity about me and my mom made perfect sense.  I couldn't fathom what happened to him, just as he couldn't me.  

In many ways this put us on even ground - - yet again (read Chef and Babies).  We were both wounded by our experiences.  What we shared was a loss of being abandoned by our mothers.  He by the uncontrollable circumstances of breast cancer;  me by years of physical and psychological abuse.  For Boomer, in those days, counseling or therapy wasn't available, let alone encouraged as it is today.   The loss he experienced, was traumatic and something he carried with him his entire life.  The loss of someone who means so much to you, whom you are just beginning to know and love for all that they are is powerful and has the capacity to leave a crater in your heart that will only grow if left unattended.   I saw those emotions surface with Boomer, and overtime it became clear the wound over the loss of his mom was never mended. 

When Boomer experienced infidelity in a serious relationship, it affected him.  Shit, it affected me, our relationship as well, later as his disease escalated and paranoia of his mind grew.  The first time he eluded that I was cheating on him devastated me.   The crater in his heart had grown to monumental proportions.  When friends or relatives hadn't reciprocated with devotion, loyalty, or being there for him as he was for them, it affected him.  In the deepest, darkest part of his soul.  Though he would never say so directly.  He didn't know how.  Another repercussion of such early childhood trauma.  Instead he turned inside and to a bottle. 

It's been in my mourning Boomer's death, that my own feeling of abandonment had resurfaced (read Smackdown).  Something I have diligently been working on as I to continue to move through this period of my life to land where I want to be.

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  On my facebook page I reminisced how Boomer would honor his mom by honoring the mom's closest in his life, myself included.  Such a redeeming quality of this wonderful man, that is my husband.   He is his mother's son.

Tomorrow is the 6-month marker of Boomer's death.  Half of a year has passed.  As I remember those final moments at Boomer's side, whispering in his ear, "It's o.k. Boomer, go, reunite with your mom (and your dad), be at peace, be whole.  There's no more sorrow or suffering.  You deserve that rest.  I know you're with me forever.  I love you,"  I can acknowledge my own feelings of abandonment are waning.  I'm a work in progress.  I also know that our experiences with our mother's are each unique and precisely that - - an experience.  They do not need to define who we or need to sustain lifelong suffering - - only if we choose it so.

Boomer, you are Flawless to me.   Thank you for the gift that is you.  I know you and Nancy are checking in on a regular basis.   It's a pleasure to meet you Nancy, I've heard wonderful things about you.   Your son is extraordinary.  But I think you know that already. 

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