Friday, 9 May 2008

Happy Birthday Mum!! (Yeah, right!)

The first 'Musing of a Misery' concerns my family. It'll give you an idea as to why I'm so bloody miserable - but fear not, for I do have a sense of humour too, and hopefully that will prevail over the miseries. I urge you, read on....... By the way, if you've just found me from The Old Crohn, you'll realise that we are one and the same - and that this post is a duplicate of one on there - just to kick things off!
If I had a picture of my Mother on this computer I'd post it here today. Today is her 64th birthday after all, so you'd expect some kind of recognition or even a bit of a celebration of her life so far. It's what normal families do, isn't it?

The fact that I haven't seen her since the summer of 2003, or spoken to her since March 2005, should be alien to most families. Not to mine.

Prior to the birth of my daughter in 2003, and for reasons best known to herself and her third husband, Mother had decided to exclude me (and my brother) from her life for nine years. It was not until six months after Emily was born that I plucked up the courage to write to her to advise her that she was a grandmother. Her response was that of a normal Mother - we visited her (once she'd told us where she was living) and for a few hours one day in 2003 we were a normal family. She was overwhelmed with Emily and seemed genuinely delighted that we should put the past behind us and move forward. I was wary. With good reason.

A few days after the visit I called her and she was cool again. I asked what was wrong but she didn't want to say (or couldn't, or wouldn't) and a few days later an email arrived from her husband Richard, who advised me that I should stay away or he would call the police. His reasons? Apparently I had not called Mother to thank her for the birthday card she'd sent me and he'd assumed that the reason I hadn't called her was because she'd not included any money with the card, and that I was a scrounger, a layabout, a liar and a cheat. He is quite mad and has driven my Mother, who was never quite the full shilling, to his mad ways. Alienating her from the entire family on her behalf, but I suspect secretly with her full approval.

In March 2005 I got a call from her, out of the blue, to advise me that she had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and that I should let Steven (my Brother) know "as it's hereditary." Why she couldn't call him herself I'll never know. At some point in the conversation I mentioned my Nana (her Mother), her response? "I don't want to talk about that woman!" I said "You do realise that she died last month - Richard did tell you, didn't he?" The phone fell silent for a brief moment and she repeated that she didn't want to talk about 'that woman!'. Clearly Richard had not passed on the news of her Mother's death. This explains the reason for her failure to attend the funeral.

I haven't spoken to her since. She married Richard in 1983 and quite quickly began to alienate herself from the rest of the family. Steven was first in 1986 when she 'boycotted' his wedding because of some minor disagreement over seating plans. Even the birth of her first grandchild in 1990 couldn't heal the rift - though Steven tried, and again with his second child in 1992 - to no avail. She boycotted my wedding in 1993 because I'd invited my brother. All in all, between 1983 and the present day, I have seen my Mother less than ten times.

The family had never been really close due to my Mother's ways, but after Richard came along it divided, sub-divided and sub-divided further to the point of no return.

For Mother, today will have no flowers, cards, presents, chocolates, tacky ornaments with "To the Best Mum In The World!" lovingly etched upon their surface, no visiting offspring, no dropping by sister, no high-pitched telephone calls from shy little grandchildren.

Today will be a day for Mother, with the eager support of her doting husband, to reflect on how badly she has been treated by her family, when really she should be looking closer to home, and within her own heart.

I'm sad for what could have been.


mrsnesbitt said...

Gosh Gary, this is absolutely dreadful for you. I lost my mum in 1994 and read this with horror. What a heart renching situation. I am so glad you have a wonderful family life which will give you the proper experience of what true honest home life is all about!

This post has really renched at me and think it is so honest and open.

david mcmahon said...

Mrs Nesbitt sent me here,

You are very specially in my thoughts.