As a writer, I am always looking for prompt. They challenge me, demand things inside of me to come out...and dare me to write beyond the prompt.
Today I woke up, jet-lagged and ready to re-writes on my book. I made coffee and headed to the computer.
The jet lag is a result of a two week visit "home" to the States - nine time zones there; nine time zones back. I specifically went to visit my daughter and her daughters- my littlest angel just turned one. I would have to introduce myself to her (I left last when she was three months old) and get to know her all over again. The same would be true for the almost three year old.
I made the trip without Mario.
That alone, says a deep bowl of fishhooks.
Mario is the steady, solid rock of a man who God saw fit to hand to me because I was such a loser. He is my best friend and my lover... and I adore him.
Without Mario I am Janet. A bright, explosive girl who loves her family and thinks out loud and has a great time saying the wrong things all of the time, noticing somewhere along the line that I sound like a judgmental know-it-all. By the time I repent, people are rolling their eyes.
Especially my daughter.
My daughter can't stand me, and says so. She also loves me terribly and can't believe I traded being close to her and her girls for Africa. She want me around to tell me how much she prefers her father and constantly reminds me that I was a religious mother who forced all of my beliefs on her and who still thinks I can run all over her.
I swear it's not true. At least, I never meant it all to be true.
I gave up visiting my son in New Mexico, spending more time with my parents and sisters...to say nothing of friends - just to hear the constant litany of "how I wish you were different....maybe like ___'s mother" and other stuff.
The third day I asked for a sit-down (amid her moving house and juggling two little kids and managing her boyfriend's erratic behavior) and a private time to talk.
It went something like this: "I know you're tired and stressed but I can't do this anymore...." followed by sobs. At this point Mario would have said, "Daughter, I love you, we're leaving."
Instead, I was begging her to say "Please stay, you know I love you and I don't mean these things I say. I'm sorry I'm taking my stress out on you!"
She kind of said that, in between more insults.
I left five days later, as we agreed I would.
I helped with the move, I watched the girls (who were angels and got to know me all over again) and did a little unpacking.
When I said goodbye we both cried.
I came home, missing all of them and saying so. I even implied to Mario that I would move back home tomorrow if he wanted to.
He doesn't get it.
"You mean, after all of that, you'd like to be NEARER to her?" Mario loves our daughter, and she's one of his favorite people...but there is no real hatred toward him from her.
"Be nearer to my family, she is just part of it...."
I am afraid that I will lose her. I am afraid my sons will distance themselves even more from me. I am afraid. I am afraid....
I am afraid my mom or dad will die when we are here. I am afraid that my sister will be homeless. Help me, Jesus...
Today, I looked into Our Salon and was greeted by a message:
"You have no friends"
It made me cry...and laugh. The joy of anonymity - where I can spew like this and get away with it? It is rare! I feel like I am shouting "King Midas has Donkey Ears!!" into a hole I have just dug.
Please...let there not be an echo.