It has been a year since I started this blog. I started it in hopes of dealing with my anxieties and emotions in relation to family estrangement and my son’s then upcoming wedding, in hopes of telling my story and helping others, and having others help me. It seems like a lifetime ago and yet just yesterday all at the same time.
It’s funny how thoughts can run so quickly from on thing to the next and before you know it, you wonder how you got to where you are in your head. I didn’t start out thinking about my son’s wedding this morning. I have been watching old disaster movies lately – I loved them as a child and they remind me of my dad who passed away a few years ago. They are some of the few memories I have of my childhood. I posted about it last night on Facebook and my brother commented about his movie memories too.
In the shower this morning (ever notice how thoughts can run wild in the shower?), my mind was thinking about the movies and about missing my father – and then to wondering if my brother notices that I am like him in missing my father and us being more like our father, more so I believe than our sisters – which led to me thinking about my sisters at my son’s wedding and their childish actions, blatantly ignoring me and then cropping me out of photos they posted online of our family at my son’s wedding, like people aren’t going to notice my son’s mother isn’t in the picture – which led to me realizing that it’s been 9 months since the wedding and I have never received any official wedding portraits.
When I left the wedding, I had a feeling that I would never receive photos. Even in the high spirits and renewed strength that I left with, I was still very much aware of the reality of things, of the reality of where my son and my relationship stood and what the future looked like. I was not a fool. Oh they may think I am, but I see them for who they are and what they are doing. Just because I choose not to address it or react to it does not make me a fool, it just means that I value moving forward more than fighting and falling behind.
To be fair, my son’s father, of all people, sent me a couple cell phone photos on Facebook just after the wedding and I am thankful for that. And my daughter-in-law posted some other photos a couple weeks later but no one sent me any, neither digital nor by traditional print. Maybe they didn’t do prints but I find it hard to believe that they wouldn’t at least do it for their parents. You can’t tell me that my son’s father and my daughter-in-laws parents don’t have a beautifully framed wedding portrait in their homes. Hell, you can’t tell me that my sister doesn’t!
I remember when the pictures where being taken. I told my son’s father that I wanted to make sure we got one of just he, our son and I, that I thought our son would appreciate having it. The picture was taken but I have never seen it. For all I know, my son didn’t care since he never thought to have it taken himself. But you know what – I tried, I gave it my all, not matter how uncomfortable it was for me, I showed up for my son in every way I could, and I am proud of that. They make think me a fool; they may think they pulled one over on me and watched as I seemed to fall for it, but the joke wasn’t on me – it was on them.
You see, I would rather be me, with all my grief, all my losses. I would rather be me who tried to do the right thing, the mature thing, who tried to put those I loved ahead of my own feelings and fears. I would rather be a good person and walk away being happy with who I am than feel guilt or even worse, never be able to admit the terrible person I have become. I can wake up each morning and live with myself. Yes, my life can be heaven or hell on any given day, sometimes both on the same day, but I know that I am doing the best I can and treating others as best I can.
I know I will never receive those photos but that’s okay. I don’t need them to remember the way I felt that day, to remember the day I found my strength, found my courage, found the me that I thought they had destroyed. She had been there all along, just waiting for the moment to prove to herself that she hadn’t been beat, that just because her loved ones thought they could rewrite history didn’t make it so.
The couple cell phone photos I do have, of me and my mom, and me and my husband, and one of me and my son, I cherish them. The funny thing is, I am not a photogenic person, not at all – but on that day, in those photos, I look warm, glowing, happy!
The photos I didn’t receive, it turns out that they are photos of the day I was freed, while others remained bound and trapped. I guess we all make our bed…