Sunday is my mom's 60th birthday.
I had been picking up things to make a gift basket for her, setting them on the corner of my desk. The first item was a music box that plays 'You Are My Sunshine,' which is a song I sang to my own children and now to my grandbaby, and means a lot to me. I also found a card that referenced 'sunshine' and thought it was a sign. I picked up a gorgeous handmade bath bomb from a friend's small business, which when used, reveals a rose quartz crystal. (I'm not gonna lie- I bought two of these and kept the other for me!) And finally a necklace that says, "Mom" and "never truly part, maybe in distance but never in heart." It seemed fitting for the occasion, considering I hadn't seen my mother in almost 9 years.
If you don't know my story, my mom has borderline personality disorder. She was diagnosed by multiple doctors and psychiatrists over the years, but always denied she had this illness, and would only admit to 'bipolar depression.' I wrote my personal story of growing up with my mom, through all the turbulent times and even childhood abuse, when I published my book in 2016, 'Pizza On the Floor.' It was the hardest thing I've ever written.
And since then, I have received messages from readers around the world who identified with me (or even my mother) in the stories. It helped them heal, forgive, get help, or even write their own story. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Though over the years, I kept wondering where my mother was, and how she was doing. Had she heard about my book? Does she even know I'm a published author now? Our last interaction in person took place in a doctor's office, when she refused to take her medication and was convinced strangers were coming into her apartment and stealing her belongings. That morning, I arrived to her place to find her burying jewelry in a container filled with flour, frantically rambling about her suspicions. As I attempted to tell the office manager about her current state, my mom began screaming at me and yelled, "I wished you'd never been born!" And so that was the last time I saw her, and she disappeared.
Then in 2020, my granddaughter was born. It was one of the most magical moments of my life, and yet I longed to share it with my mom. So the journey began of trying to find her. She didn't exist on any social media platforms. No one in the family had heard from her. I ran searches online and even considered hiring a private investigator to find her for me. Then a few months ago, it happened. I found a pinterest account with her name on it, and I sent a private message. It took her several days to respond, but there she was! I left my phone number and we began texting. I shared photos of my kids and the new grandbaby, telling her she was a GREAT grandmother now! And for a few moments, I had hope that our relationship could be mended and that we could start to rebuild. In an effort to move forward with reconciliation, I even removed my book from Amazon. Even if it's true, I didn't want it to be a barrier from us rebuilding and moving forward.
An opportunity presented itself and we arranged a road trip to drive to New Mexico where she lives now. We found a perfect little AirBnb cabin nearby, and booked it.
Then yesterday, I got a text from my mom telling me she is no longer comfortable with seeing me and that she is 'happy' now. So the trip is off, the cabin cancelled.
As a dear friend of mine stated, "she pushed you away before you could push her away..." And I suppose that is true.
I told my mom I was sad for her decision, but wished her well.
And truthfully, I'm at peace with it all.
I extended the olive branch.
I offered to reconcile.
So even if there are tears, I know how far I've come, and I'm okay with it.
Happy Birthday, Mom.