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My Mother, World Traveler

I would be having some sort of Mother's Day extravaganza with my mother, but she's in Budapest somewhere.  Her itinerary was long and complicated.  She lives in the Bay Area, but she flew to my uncle's home outside of Philadelphia before heading for points east and her European itinerary.  In recent years, she's traveled all over Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and everywhere she can in the United States.  They they go, my mother and her brother, heading to points unknown.

So we would be sitting down at a restaurant and having a meal tomorrow if she were here.  Two years ago, she and my youngest son took a walk that ended up almost giving her heat stroke, but mostly, Mother's Day is a pleasant experience with presents and cake.  Last year we toasted with Mimosas at a lovely place in Rockridge. 

It hasn't been easy these past few years.  I managed to not only undo my life but my mother's as well.  I had a nice little family, and we hosted most of the holidays.  I had a husband who was loving and caring toward my mother, who never forgot anything that she'd done for us.  He took walks with her, barbecued for her.  We all went to movies and on trips.  And when I decided that the family time was over, I neglected to consult all who were involved. Her, for one.  Well, she was consulted, but I didn't like her answers and she didn't like my questions.

For over a year, I felt that my mother hadn't supported my choice.  She entertained my husband and his new girlfriend.  She continued or tried to continue the relationship they had, and I was offended and hurt.  It seemed to me that there were two sides to this story, and she'd picked the wrong side.  She'd crossed the line in the sand.  She wasn't there for me, the one who was related to her.

So things grew strained and slightly horrifying as holidays came and went, people sitting stiffly on couches, trying to invoke other holidays when things were happier (or when, at least, people pretended to be).  We all felt things were off kilter and sad and weird, but we kept doing what families often do--sit in rooms for some reason or another and try to figure out why.

But then things began to change.  My divorce became not a mirage in the distance but something that might really happen.  I was able to tell my mother how this situation had made me feel, and she was able to do the same.  My  mother and uncle met and then began to like Michael, the new man who cooks for them but does not barbecue nor go on walks.  

Sometimes in early 2007, I started to feel lifted out of the darkness that was the in-between time, the time that came from the place no one wanted to be standing in.  The time that was rocky and dangerous, everyone with cut knees and bleeding fingers.  We learned how to be a family in different ways, accommodating all our feelings, moving into a new way of interacting, standing in a place that was completely new.

"Let's start over," we all seemed to say.  "Now that I'm feeling better, let's go have drinks."

 So here's to my mother, our new place of being, the place that we can stand together.  Here's to my mother, the traveling woman somewhere in Budapest.  Raise your glass to her, and to your mother, and to change.  Cheers.

Jessica

Comments
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Cheers!

And yes, here's to change. And tell your mom to have a Turkish bath at the Hotel Gellert in Budapest.

WE were sipping Mimosas at Citron last year on Mother's Day.... were you there too??

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Yes, that's exactly where we were

That is so funny.  We were there, enjoying the mimosas, opening presents, etc.  I wish I could go back and witness us in the same room not knowing each other at all (as much as we virtually know each other).  IN fact, I will be there tomorrow, too!

I just read your blog, so here's to all your turning and changing and new life situation.  I am sure you will master the turn.  Spot! will be what you do naturally.

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Jessica,

Several of your recent posts, including this one, have been helpful to me and my friend.  My friend X was told by her husband they couldn't go on any longer and had the family talk.  X's parents love her husband.  I am an old friend to both husband and wife.  When I listen to her, he sounds like a monster, and when I talk to him, she sounds problematical.  I felt really torn until I decided they are both good people who should graduate from this marriage into another stage of life.  For her, the Simone De Beauvoir saying, which I paraphrase, a man for youthful sex, a man for bearing children, and lastly, a man for companionship.  I love them both.  I love the children.

I've also sent her your podcasts because she is in a career change like Becca.  She is fabulous in the kitchen.  Oh, the beer breads she can make!  She quit her teaching position at U of A so she could travel with her husband on his geology digs and thus keep the marriage together.  Now she is left high and dry without a decent job. She can only get positions as a glorified secretary.  Yale says she's too old.

Your personal blogs helps me and a lot of invisible individuals who read without posting.  Thank you, m' dear.

And btw, did you stay in touch with your young love (the last blog), the 19 year-old? 

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I feel for X, have been X

That is the time I still shiver about, the time of the beginning, the time when you don't know what you are supposed to do or how to act.  sure, there are books and ideas out there about how to proceed, but what to do with the feelings.  Send her my best, and what is true is that it will get worse before it gets better but it will get better.  Somehow, her new life will come to her, but it won't be what she imagines now.  I send her lots of light, white strong light.

The young love and I maintained some contact, but I loved his mother and she loved me, and she ended up showing up for a book reading one year.  I have updated info and he also is friends of old friends, so the news trickles in.  I have written some about that time, and we were necessary for each other in so many ways.  Maybe it's best to see him always as this strong, quirky, vibrant, wild, irascible young man.  To keep him young and beautiful in my mind.

Blogging is really self-serving in so many ways, but the idea that I am helping is absolutely wonderful.  Thank you Belle for saying those nice words.

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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PS

Chapter 2, Part 1 of the podcast is missing.  I listened to Part 2.

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It's there--

On my author page, I see Chapter Two part one and Chapter Two part two.  Where did it go for you?  Do podcasts migrate?  If so, do they have fun when they leave???

Let me know what you see if you go back.

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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MAYBE they're in Budapest...

... with your mom! Taking the waters.

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Little rats

I will write to Huntington!

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Missing Podcast--

I click on play and it doesn't play. I clicked it another time, it does play. I shut it down and was having trouble again :(

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I think I need to rerecord it

I made that file too big or something.  So I think I need to take it down and do it over.  I am planning on finishing chapter two tomorrow, so that will be amongst the day's tasks!

Thanks, Belle, for investigating for me.

J

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Beautiful...

...and poignant. What an honest look at something that's not that far in the past for you. Hope it's a great year for you and your family.

Kristy Kiernan

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Thank you

2008 has been fabulous.  It's hard to look back from here and really "feel" how it was.  But things are good now, and I appreciate your thoughts.

Jessica

Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com