I promised she didn't have to wear it, put her back on her nasal canula and soothed her as best I could. She said she'd come to grips with the fact that she was going to die over the past year, but was still not ready. Business things weren't resolved.
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And she had been. Despite all my dad's efforts to be friendly, my mom was never anything but icy cold to him since they divorced when I was 7. "I'm going to tell him that," she promised. "It was just that I truly loved him and I couldn't risk letting him back in. I had to protect myself." I had never considered this reason. It me, it just seemed like blame and a lack of forgiveness for their failed marriage. Resentment that he'd moved on and she'd never found another life partner.
Our Thanksgiving plan prior to my mom's hospitalization had been to eat with my in-laws at my dad and his wife's house. When my mom moved in and couldn't leave the house, we invited them all to dine with us. I hoped, of course, that my mom would tell my dad what she had shared with me. That she could forgive him, and he could forgive her before she died.
What was interesting is that my dad seemed to crave some kind of closure. He hung close to her all day, planting himself on the couch near her recliner, sitting next to her at the dinner. But for all his efforts, she completely rebuffed him, as usual. Some habits are hard to break. The stark reality of death that she'd felt just out of the hospital was no longer as pressing, perhaps. She died without explaining herself to him.
We had a memorial in my backyard on Sunday. My mom's sister flew out. At my wedding, she'd been as cold to my dad as my mom had, always resenting the fact that he'd hurt her sister. After the short service Sunday, she went to greet him. He told her that he'd always admired her (my mom's) family. She said, "She always loved you, you know." My dad broke down hearing that. Of course-- who wouldn't? He must surely regret never having closure with the woman he was married to for fifteen years.
I hope they can work it out in the afterlife.
Truly, bitterness isn't a taste worth keeping. If there's someone in your life you are withholding forgiveness from-- let it go. It doesn't mean you condone unjust behavior, it just means you free your spirit and theirs from an energy deadlock. Everyone wins through forgiveness.
Thanks so much for all the kind emails, comments, notes. I am so grateful for all the love and support that has been flowing my way. I've been holding up pretty well, but I also fall apart without notice. I guess that's just how it goes. My husband promised a spanking as soon as our house guests have departed. I can't say I felt truly excited, but it's better than chocolate, and chocolate solves most everything. Here's to chocolate and sore bums. :)