mslulu: (Default)
It occurs to me that I've painted a picture of my mother as a self-centered, emotionally abusive, racist psycho. Okay, while not a completely inaccurate image, I think I should probably say some nice things about her too.

Mom was an incredibly strong, determined woman. She never hesitated to jump to her children's defense when we were being treated unfairly. (The exception being when the mistreatment was coming from my step-father, but that's a whole other journal entry.) She never made us feel as financially poor as we were. She was beautiful. She had a terrible sense of humor and couldn't dance to save her life... always a great source of amusement to me and Chryste. She was a natural healer, possessed with both the ability and the desire to do so. She took care of people. She had a killer sense of direction. She was generous. She loved us.
mslulu: (Default)
My mother died one year ago today. I've declared today a personal holiday and called in sick, not so much that I'm sitting around the house mourning (I'm doing laundry and inventing a double feature at the movies), but that I don't think this is a day I want to be around anyone other than complete strangers in a theatre, or my close personal friends.

I just listened to the audiotape of her memorial service a few weeks ago. It was strange. It angers me somewhat that she made such an effort to be loved and adored by the people in her community, yet she couldn't make the effort to accept her own daughters for their uniqueness. As I listened to all the people talk at the service, I realize that none of these people ever saw the real Karen. They don't know how many times the phrase "you stupid kids," was hurled in our direction, or the criticism and voiced disappointment that was most often preceded with the words "Oh, honey."

I loved my mother, and I don't doubt that she loved us, but there are so many memories that have been surfacing over the last year that suggest that she just wasn't very good at being a mom. Oh, she was fine with babies. That's what she did best, but once the babies started to develop ideas, beliefs, and fashion tastes that conflicted with her own, she couldn't handle it. She was embarrassed by us, by our differences from her, and she didn't attempt to hide it. Instead she told us we were wrong, that she didn't want to be seen with us the way we were dressed, that if we had made the choices she approved of, our lives wouldn't be such crap. As if her choices had all turned out perfectly.

But, according to the community of Fredericksburg, TX, Karen could do no wrong. Karen was an angel, sent to earth by God to make everyone's lives more blessed by her presence. Karen was not prejudiced against color, social status, or any other form of social diversity. (Apparently they never heard her speech on how the white race is really God's chosen people, not the Jewish people as popularly believed.) "Our Karen," they called her, and she loved it.

I just wish she had spent less effort trying to endear herself to the community and more effort learning about her daughters, and why different doesn't always mean wrong.

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