I didn’t know if this should be here or the Mundane Stuff, but since I’m not feeling too civil this is probably the right place.
I learned through a cousin that my mother died yesterday morning at 10:30. My mother and brother hadn’t talked to me in over 10 years because I’m Gay, so I wasn’t expecting it to hit me so hard, but I’m a mess. I guess somewhere inside I always hoped that she would finally deal with it, but it never happened. So, tonight was visitation, and tomorrow my mother is going to be buried thousands of miles away from here. Without me being there.
When I spoke with my cousin, she told me that in the last while, when my mother knew the end was coming, she talked about me a great deal, and said that she respected me for standing my ground and being who I was. That was the first nice thing I heard my mother say about me since I came out in 1978. Even though I never heard it from her directly, I break down every time I think of it.
However, my sadness at my mother’s passing is nothing compared to my anger at my brother and his wife. My brother and his wife, who told my mother after my father died in 2001 that they weren’t going to drive her around, and forced her to start driving at 75. The woman hadn’t driven since the 1960’s.
My brother and his wife - who decided my mother needed to go into a nursing home this year at 86, and brought a dumpster to her house and threw out everything in it, then sold the house. The house my father built by himself in 1950, and my mother lived in for 61 years. My brother didn’t call to let me know, or ask if I might want anything, and never even bothered to call and tell me that my mom was sick.
My brother, the “Christian”, who couldn’t bother to let me know about my mother’s death, and went as far as putting an obituary in the local newspaper, listing himself and his wife and then adding me on as an afterthought without mentioning my husband/partner of 23 years. Then adding “the family would appreciate donations to the Salvation Army” in the obituary – a religion my mother had no connection with – and a religion that works against Gay and Lesbian rights. The family? There are only two of us, and I wasn’t even consulted.
So along with not going to the funeral, I got to spend time today writing up an “In Memorium” ad and paying hundreds of dollars to have it run for two days in her local newspaper. An ad with her picture from my parents’ wedding in 1942, and a note asking people to donate money to the Church she attended from the time she got married in until she died. And I even put in my brother’s name along with his wife’s name, although it was tempting to leave her off – oh and my name and my husband’s name.
And as much as I’d like to say I took the high road, I didn’t. I knew there was a viewing tonight, so called the funeral home and asked for my brother. When he answered I told him he was a total scumbag, and a poor excuse for a Christian. I found myself using words I haven’t used in years., and when he started to try to blame me for things, I told him he was a fucking asshole and hung up. Childish, but somehow satisfying.
I guess in a few weeks I’ll fly cross-continent just to go see her grave, cry some more and move on – a lot like what I’ve had to do my whole life.