Today is my mom's birthday. All week I've been trying to write a post about her life in some way, but everytime I tried I couldn't get it right. I realised this week that most of the things that I know about her, I've learned through my father. And as much as I love my father, I know that he is not the most reliable source, especially on matters concening my mother. I wonder which bits of information I know about her are actually true and if I'll ever get straight answers from either of my parents.
I know that for years now my father, in his own twisted way, has tried to poison any good memories I have of my mom, and I have to admit that in a lot of ways it's worked. Not entirely because of him, but because over the years she has shown me enough of her own poison for the things my dad tells me to sound true. Does that make sense?
But I always feel bad that I feel that way, and as October comes around and it's another year that's gone past where I haven't been in contact with my mother, I always end up thinking 'this year, I'll send a birthday card, or a gift, or at least photos of Boy...' even if it means sending a package to my mom's sister because I don't have my mother's current address. This year I did buy a birthday card. Two in fact, one from me and one from Elliot. It was very difficult though, because most mom birthday cards say things along the lines of 'to the best mum ever' or 'to a special mum, because you mean so much to me' and I couldn't send something that said either of those things. Generic 'Happy birthday mum' is more my style, and more along the lines of how I feel about her right now. Both cards are still in my handbag. I didn't have the courage to send them.
N and I were having dinner the other day, and I felt like talking about her. My mom and dad's birthdays are both in October, just 10 days apart. There's never been a big birthday spirit in our household, birthdays were very low-key and hardly celebrated at all. My parents would get the same presents every year from my brother and I - my mom would get a cashmere sweater, usually gray. My dad would get a bottle of Old Spice. I remember when my mom moved out, she left most of her gray cashmere sweaters behind. I cried when I found them still hanging in the closet, they were presents from her children, I didn't understand why she didn't take them with her. When I left home, the sweaters were still laying about the house, so I took one. I still have that gray cashmere sweater hanging untouched and unworn in my closet. I don't know why I keep it, but I can't let it go either.