So, as part of my healing, I have been trying to clear out my emotional baggage. It's been very beneficial, though very messy at times. lol It's kinda like my house lately. I have been moving things around and clearing out closets. While I'm deciding where everything should now go, it gets terribly untidy. I start to think it was a bad idea, but it's not until I finally put that last thing in place that I am surprised by how harmonious and lovely everything looks.
It's the same with my heart, I guess. One of the largest sources of my baggage is my mother.
She left when I was 8, never to return. She's out there somewhere, back in my home state, last time I talked to her. See after she left and I was living with my grandmother. I was angry, and I swore to my dolls that if she EVER came around again, I would tell her what's what.
Well, she called six months later and I happen to pick up the phone. And you know what? I cried. And begged. And pleaded for her to come home; to please, pretty please, come home to me.
This is off topic, but when ever I think of pretty please now, I think of Despicable Me. "The physical appearance of the please does not matter." Always makes me chuckle. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah...
So I guess you could say she is the hardest person for me to forgive. I was talking to my cousin Toni the other day about my mother. I gotta say, it's always nice to talk to people you've known your whole life. They often have perspective about the situation you're in that you may not have considered. I also talked to my sister about it later that evening. I told her that sometimes I wanted to go to our mother and show her what she missed out on, show her how awesome I could be. lol My sister told me to write her a letter. It's something she has done when she was in middle school. Ah, my younger sister, so much older than me in so many ways.
So I got to writing, and boy oh boy did I let her have it. lol But half way through, I stopped. I realized something pretty dang important. She has regrets. Of course she does. I know this because I have regrets. Things I shoulda, coulda, woulda done if I could go back in time to right the wrongs.
So, on a wimp (yeah, I do that a lot lol), I looked up her number in the whites pages. See I know her address and married name. I have talked to her a few times in the last 30 years, though I was always left feeling disappointed with our interactions. She told me this story once of how she had three plants sitting above her sink. She joked that they were dying of thirst one foot from water. I think this is an excellent metaphor. See, she had three kids and she could not quench us, and so she left. May very well be the best damn thing she ever did for us. I both loved and hated her, and I would have done anything to try to fix her.
Anyway, my search brought up two numbers. First one turned out to be disconnected. But the second one had a voice that sounded slightly familiar. It was a recording and I wasn't sure what the hell I was going to do, but when the beep went off I was quiet for a second and then I said the following. "Hi... this is Consuelo. I just wanted to say I forgive you... and I hope you are well... ok then, take care. Bye." I may have left a message at a wrong number. There may be a lady out there wondering, "Who the heck is Consuelo?"
I immediately called my sister back and told her I had done something. I was on cloud nine. I felt so light, I could fly if someone just gave me a small boost. She laughed an exasperated laugh. "I MEANT a metaphorical letter!! You know, one you don't actually send!!" Well, who cares. I felt unchained. She asked me what if she called back? I had already thought about that myself actually, and it doesn't matter. All I know is my karma is my karma, and her karma is her karma. I said my peace.
What I'm trying to say is, I didn't call her to give her peace, though I honestly hope it did give her some. I did it to give MYSELF peace, and it definitely had that effect.
Besides, my mother, my TRUE mother was my grandmother, she was the one who had always been there. It was her presence that I took for granted, and I will probably always have regrets about the fact that I went to see her on Tuesday, when I should have gone on Monday, when she was still coherent. But you think there will always be time.
So today is Celia Cruz's birthday. My grandmother like her, and I hope they are both up in heaven trading stories about their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and shaking their heads at all our antics.
Thank you Mama for all you did for me. How you sheltered us and took care of us. How you took care of my beautiful daughter. And for the good advice you gave that I didn't always take. I love you mucho and I always will.
Celia, if you would please sing us out...