For over 20 years (including my entire adult life), I have not spent more than a few hours at a time with my mother. I just dropped her off at the airport after a very nice 8 day visit with us here in Shanghai. Mom got to spend a lot of quality time with China bambina, who is not yet two. That was great and I’m hope my daughter will remember her “nai-nai” as grandma is getting up in years and probably won’t visit again.
My parents were missionaries in poor rural America. We lived in some pretty godforsaken places. We were barely in the middle class courtesy of grandparents, who were able to provide a private home mortgage. For all intents and purposes, my parents took a vow of poverty. An unfortunate by-product is that their kids (my brothers and I) essentially grew up just over the poverty line. My parents also divorced within a year after I left for University.
My parents were right wing Nixon supporting Christian conservatives who ran on a lot of faith. My father has become much more conservative over the years, while my mother has become much more liberal. Quite strange to hear my mother talking about how her church has become known as the “gay” church, “and that’s the Christian thing to do.” Never would have heard that kind of statements from her back when I was in high school.
Both of my parents were big on control. I was big on rebellion. I never had the faith necessary to believe in god, although I sure was imbued with basic Christian ideals. I still have issues with all of that, I expect, and with having to grow up poor.
Not really sure what to write here. Mother’s Day is coming up, but I don’t want to say anything trite. I was real happy to spend the time with my mother. I still love her and find that the hatred has been replaced with a dose of maturity and perhaps understanding. I hope she has many more productive years and that my whole family including my daughter has more chances to spend time with her.