Archive for Mother’s Day

Day 16: “Mother Fuckers”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 9, 2011 by Veronica Graham

I took a stroll downtown to get some air and enjoy the weather, feeling melancholy and restless at the same time. It’s Mothers Day and I have a mother, stepmother, godmother and Nanny.  I don’t plan on seeing or spending time with any of them today.

The only person that I was able to wish a “Happy Mothers Day” to was my biological mother, not because the others don’t deserve it, but I couldn’t even bring myself to pick up the phone or even get a card for the others.  My mother has ALL the Graham characteristics:  She is impulsive, religious, creative, hot-tempered, passionate, sharp tongued, and constantly believing the world is against her.  In HER case, it seems as though my entire family is against her, and not without reason, but in my opinion, still unjust.

She is still my mother.

 My relationship with my mother is far from normal or healthy, but I could care less, I love her just the way she is.  I drove to visit her this past Christmas, four hours away and had a bag packed because of a monster snow storm expecting to hit her house.  Somewhere after opening presents and before baking our secret family recipe for dishpan cookies, the flood gates of yelling, crying, and flushing out Mother’s Graham’s past and how it’s affected me into my adult life poured out.  My little sister stormed out in the middle of the meltdown and Mother Graham took off after her, leaving me alone on Christmas night.  I wasn’t sure if she was going to come back (not being a stranger to her leaving me in strange places in the past) so I drove home in a snow storm.  On the way home, Mother Graham panicked and called everyone I know telling them I was drunk driving and that the Christmas fiasco was not her fault.  She has been divorced twice and to this day has never remarried but is in constant pursuit of finding “The One”. I guess the old saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is more than just a saying.

Trash talking Mother Graham is acceptable as saying the sky is blue, saying that Mother Graham is crazy, fucked up my childhood and adulthood, and shouldn’t be a part of my life now is all dinner table conversation.  She did throw me out of her house when I was 14, with a trash bag full of clothes and asked my father to take me (and he did), and our relationship has been a slow work in progress- taking one step forward and two steps back since I can remember.  She loved men, she fought, and she loves God to the point of God-fearing Bible thumping Carrie’s mother caliber.  For the longest time, I agreed with everyone around me, she ruined my childhood, she’s ruined me, I was better off without her.  Entering into adulthood, these nonchalant and cornering comments that my mother is crazy and I’m “acting just like her” to get me to cooperate with their wishes began to seem a little dated, immature, and disrespectful.

My mother brought me into this world, is also the one who taught me to believe in God, and planted the seed that led me to become a makeup artist.  From as early as I can remember, I used to sit crisscross applesauce on the toilet seat watching her apply makeup.  She could turn the just-rolled-out-of-bed look into photo shoot ready in 20 minutes and I watched with fascination as she transformed in front of my eyes.  “How does this look?”  “How does this dress look?”  “Do you think I’m pretty?” she would ask me.  The fact is:  My mother was a beauty, but had the lowest self esteem of anyone I’ve ever known.  Just like me:  She’s burned a lot of bridges and has severed the trust of many of those around her: including family members.

To this day, with all my flaws and all of my friends and relatives that have given up on me and just chalk me up to being “just like my mother,”  SHE has been the one to always come back to me, not just waiting for another mistake.  I did not see her today, but I know she worked on Mother’s Day, making minimum wage to pay her bills and probably still looked photo shoot ready.  When I texted her, “Happy Mother’s Day.”   She wrote back, “Thank you Pumpkin!  Miss you! OOOOOOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXX Pretty Little Lady :)”

We spoke for a little after that- all positive comments from Ms. Pessimistic.

Sure, Mother Graham and I have a lot in common:  Good and bad sides of me, but she was the only one that I could bring myself to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to because she believes in me, between our fights and fears that I’m hell bound– she believes that I’m more than just a slutty fuck up and that I’m in this world for a reason.  When I screw up, my mother is one who is cursing me with disappointment while others look away with silenced comfortability thinking, “It’s all right, we knew you would.”  In their eyes, my upbringing with my mother led me down the path for a failed life, but my survival came from Mother Graham.  She taught me how to fight and how to defend myself and to keep moving forward like she does when nobody else believed I could.

For all those who write off my mother as a waste of space, write me off as well, and therefore, on this Hallmark Holiday, I don’t have anything else to say to those Mother Fuckers who believe I’m less than what I am.

Here’s to 350 Days, Veronica Graham, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, I Love You, Dammit!-