Friday, October 5, 2007

"hurry up and get married before mom dies"

No, my mom is not dying. She’s alright, health wise, I suppose. Well, nothing a 4-drug cocktail to treat both diabetes and hypertension won’t fix. But a sense of mortality is something my mom instilled in me when I was really young. For as long as I can remember, my mom would often follow up her points with, “you just never know how much longer I’m going to be here” (here meaning, on this earth). When I was a kid, I didn’t pay too much attention to these comments. I just figured it was all part of the package—my mom’s handy bag of guilt trips. In the privacy of my own head, this became known as the “death guilt trip” and I figured it was my mom’s favorite, considering just how often she would remind me that she could die any day now.

I suppose for any other normal childhood, this concept could seem incredibly morbid, and probably too heavy for a young mind to grasp. But for my mom who unwillingly became a widow at 37, this was her life now. Her kids were now down to one parent. She learned that you just never know how long you have to be with someone, so it’s best to make the most of the time you have. So, whenever I disrespected or disobeyed my mom, she would end her scolding with “you just never know how much longer I’m going to be here.” It was her attempt to get me to hurry up and be a better person. After all, neither of us would want our final moments together to be spent in an argument.

I probably didn’t appreciate my mother until I left for college and realized how much harder life was without her around. Despite the many differences we’ve had over the years, I’m glad that I’ve been able to love and enjoy her company, advice, meddling in my personal affairs, etc. I wouldn’t have things any other way.

That’s why my brother’s recent douchebaggery is especially frustrating. I wish I could instill in him the same appreciation and respect I have. But this is something that needs to be learned. Despite the fact that he is 9 years older than me, he has yet to learn it or exhibit much maturity.

I spoke to my sister last night about that email she sent. L has yet to hear from our brother. We both lamented our brother’s immaturity in making our mom suffer like this. Sure, it’s tough to handle when your mom scolds you at the age of 38. But when you act like you’re 16, what should you expect?

My sister said, “One day, R is going to wake up and realize that he was wrong and I hope that mom will be around for that.” I replied with certainty, “Mom won’t be around for that. Rude Wife is his enabler and he has no motivation to grow up now, even though he is a father. It’s sad really, the example he is setting for his kids.” L stated, “Yeah, he just doesn’t realize that mom isn’t going to be around forever and that we have to make the most of the time we have now. Mom wants to be around to see Serena grow up and see you get married. But what if she doesn’t?”

And that’s when it hit me. Could that be why my mom has been pressuring me to get married? She’s afraid that she won’t be around to see me walk down the aisle? Is “Hurry up and get married” the next “You just never know how much longer I’m going to be here”? I’ve had visions of my mom walking me down the aisle. I’ll be damned if that doesn’t happen.

And suddenly the pressure to get married has taken on a new meaning.


Anonymous said...

I will always always alway regret my dad died before either my sister or I gave him grandchildren. He loved kids so much. He would have spoiled his grandkids rotten. ~Erika

sunchaser said...

In a way, it's really good that you're only thinking about marriage more as something your mom desires just now. Maybe not so much as they used to in the days of arranged marriages, but it seems like people can get consumed with what their parents/family think is right for them to be doing/not doing. That's just not healthy, IMHO.

I had a Pakistani friend in college (who I've unfortunately lost touch with) whose marriage was arranged. We were all shocked when it happened (being womens college grads fed women's rights info regularly, it was definitely not something we'd have expected).

I can't imagine what that would be like, and I feel so so lucky to have been raised by rents who gave me the freedom to make my own mistakes, etc.

PS: It's sacrireligious (biting hand that feeds), and a little hypocritcal) for me to say this but I really wish people didn't take so many meds. They are evil. Does your mom exercise? You need to get her started ona program! :)

Jilian said...

I can't even respond to this without getting weepy!

Seeing as my father passed about 3 years before my wedding and my hubby's mom passed 9 months prior - our wedding was a tad emotional!! Of course I missed my dad like crazy - but even more than that I was sad he didn't get to meet the love of my life. I laugh when I imagine the hell he would have given him :)

My brother gave me away - and that was special too :)

Madame M. said...

What will happen, will. But only in its own time and if you let it.

(ps: There is something in the Hispanic water, girl. You should have heard my grandmother)

lizzie said...

erika--i'm sorry about your dad. if anything, i think my niece has given my mom a reason to keep living. they have a special bond i just can't explain and i'm truly sorry that your father missed out on that.

sunchaser--i probably had to fight my mom to give me the freedom to make my own mistakes. but she eventually figured that was the right thing to do and i'm grateful for that.

my mom doesn't exercise, but that's probably due to her arthritis, which she doesn't get treated for. don't ask me why. it's hard to get my mom to take care of herself.

jilian--didn't mean to make you cry! i wish my dad could've met jesse. i have a feeling they would've gotten along very well.

that wedding picture is gorgeous! that's quite the fabulous dress you're wearing--simple and classic! i love it.

madame--i'm not patient enough to wait. i hate waiting. :)

J Fitty said...

How was that "scrimmage/practice game" against Stanford? ;-)

lizzie said...

j fitty--dude, i've been so busy with work and life that i haven't even had a chance to put my recap on 'paper.' don't worry. it's coming, but i'll probably post it on my sports blog since it's kinda late to be talking about something that happened on saturday.