The package from my mother was opened last week. I've had a whole week to think about it and go through the contents. I thought about taking a photo and posting it on here, but I decided it was too personal. I have so little that my mother has given me, that I feel the need to hold onto it just a little bit longer. Forgive me for that. It was a good package. It didn't hold any huge revelations or confessions. In my head I wanted her to write that she loved me, that she's proud of me, that she misses me. The closest I got was when she signed the end of her letter with 'love ya' and it turns out that works for me.
Her package did give me a lot to think about though. She told me she got married to her long-term boyfriend Larry. I met Larry when I was maybe 15. I was still a sulky teenager at the time, struggling to deal with the breakdown of my family. I realise now that I never gave Larry a chance. He seemed a decent sort, a lot older than my mother with grownup children of his own, but nice enough. It was him that used to cook us Thanksgiving dinner and he'd let slip comments to my brother and I about how much my mom cared about us. I'm glad my mom and Larry got married. They've been together 10 years. But, sadly, he recently had a stroke. There was no news on if it was serious or what complications he was left with. I hope things are liveable.
She also mentioned that her niece has had her four children taken away from her by the state (presumably because of alcohol related abuse as is sadly the norm for my mother's side of the family). And that my mother is to become their legal guardians. Of four children, one of whom is Elliot's age. It's a huge responsibility, especially one taken on so late into life. I'm sure I wouldn't be as willing to trade places with her on that one.
Because she's had no other news, she still believes my brother is in jail somewhere. That's sad. He is in fact living in Northern California with my father, working steady hours at a good job and finally doing well for himself. The parts of her letters in the past where she spoke at length about David and asked endless questions about him used to bother me. I always felt like she favoured him more over me. This time I didn't have the same reaction. Maybe I've grown up or moved on, but it's not so important to me anymore. My relationship with my mother is mine and David has his. They'll always be different, but I can't do anything to change that. It's out of my control, so I'm enjoying what I do have.
And I can tell from this package, that my mother does care about me. She went to a lot of effort picking out Christmas presents for me, my husband, my son. She filled me in on her daily life as well as the major events. She remembered I collect postcards and knew how much I would love to recieve anything related to my heritage. It feels good to have something to hold onto now. A nice memory of my mother, something nice she did for me to ease that lonely hole in my heart. I will always be thankful for that.