The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Advice from Mother

mother-daughterMarg:

Here is the pattern… The little Nashua made a good copy.

Keep thinking of you… stick to your guns because if you back down now, you won’t do it again.

I hope things work out all right.

I wonder how things would have worked out if I had kept on going way back when, before Jim was born.

Dad didn’t say too much. I told him about gong out to dinner and meeting your friends, etc. Maybe he might be a little more willing.

Keep with the friends… but don’t say too much… sometimes you wish you hadn’t afterwards. Take it slow, make sure you protect yourself, and get to see a lawyer.

Will phone on the weekend.

Love, Mother

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Keepsake Advice from Mother is the fourth in a series

Mom wrote this letter around 1980 after I told her that my marriage to The Cowboy was finished. To say that I was startled by the revelation in the fourth paragraph would be an understatement.

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Categories: Mom and Dad, Personal Growth

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18 replies

  1. It sounds as if you are one of the lucky ones, to have parents that were there for you.

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  2. Hi Barbara! Now that is a thought provoking comment! I always felt that my folks were against me, or at the most, neutral. But what you say IS valid, for clearly she was supporting me in my decision. I hold onto this letter because it is the only correspondence I received from her. That alone is significant. But that paragraph where she revealed that she had considered leaving my dad when I was three or four? NEVER knew that. And it was never discussed after this letter. Not one word. I truly appreciate your readership, thank you.

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  3. I actually have a slew of letters from my mother, which I hold onto thinking they’ll make the basis of a good book someday… but every time I re-read them, they just piss me off all over again. You’re right, this one letter from your mother makes it significant; she really wanted you to know she was in your corner at a very difficult place in your life. :>

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    • Heya, dolly. I can only begin to imagine… scratch that. I cannot begin to imagine the dynamic between you and your mother. I certainly understand that you’d be pissed, though.
      Ya wanna know what I regret? And I know, I know, regrets are really a waste of time… BUT! I just wish either one of us, either mom or I had the courage, trust, vocabulary, WHATEVER was required to talk adult to adult. It is what it is… or rather was what it was… but STILL!

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      • It’s certainly a complicated relationship. I don’t regret how I’ve handled it; I did what I needed to do to survive. Could we talk adult to adult now? No, because she’s never reached the level of maturity necessary to do that. Will I need her memory recollection to fill in the blanks in my wormhole? Yes, yes, I will. For that reason alone, we take baby steps toward some kind of “relationship.” I don’t think of her as my mother though; I think of her as another human being on this planet struggling with her own stuff and for that alone she deserves some modicum of my begrudging respect. :}

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  4. Did she always advise you not to say to much to people? Even close friends? Was she betrayed by someone when she confided? I wonder what she would say now about all the things you blog about? Nice, Maggie. ps. Did you like being called Marg?

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    • Hi Stephanie. As I recall, there wasn’t a whole lot of advice-giving other than “eat your peas” and “tuck in your tummy”. As for the betrayal, that’s a very good question. It sounds like the answer could be “yes” unless she witnessed it happening for someone else.
      I didn’t mind being called Marg then, but since I’ve switched to Maggie, the old moniker sounds blunt and hard.

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  5. The only letter I remember from my mother was one she wrote me shortly before she died, telling me that understood I was much too busy to write to her.

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  6. My husband’s mother was a cold fish. Just before she died, she left a letter for each of her eight children and signed them, for the first time ever, “Love, Ma.” This one tiny expression of love from her made the letter priceless to some of the kids; for others it was too little, too late.

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  7. My mother has never said ‘I love you’ to any of her four children. She didn’t cry at my brothers funeral, she pulls back when I kiss her on meeting and leaving her. I don’t doubt she loves me but because ,between my terrible father and her harridan of a mother she became unable to show affection. I feel so strongly about her and wish I could turn back time so she didn’t marry him. I know I wouldn’t be alive but as I wouldn’t know it, that’s fine. She stuck out an abusive marriage until my youngest sister left school. I was a temperamental wife and would leave my husband for a few hours on a regular basis , and where did I go? To my mother’s , of course, who would ply me with tea and listen then send me home. That meant more than anything.

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    • I’ve found some comfort in knowing that people of our parent’s age did not generally say “I love you” as frequently as they do these days. At least that’s the sense I get from talking with my “cohort.” That said, there are certainly plenty of non-verbal ways of demonstrating fondness, affection, and love. Which you have illustrated so nicely here. Thanks for commenting.

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