I’ve worked hard to reach a place in life where I can be one-hundred-percent confident in the decisions I make for myself. So much so, I want to believe that I don’t care what others think or say about my choices. It’s my life and I have the right to live it my way.
No matter how much I try, however, I can’t seem to shake the desire for my mother’s approval. And that leads to this weekend.
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My mother has been a “prisoner” in South Florida for the past year. She hasn’t taken a vacation or even visited her children or grandchildren (we all live in different countries or states). She’s been busy caring for and doing things for others. She put her own needs and interests on hold to address others’. And she hasn’t complained once.
Whether my mom has done what she’s done voluntarily or out of a sense of obligation is irrelevant. Whether she truly is selfless or suffers from a martyr complex doesn’t matter either. The bottom line is that the time and effort to put others first takes a toll…on one’s state of mind, physical health and relationships.
I bought my new home a year ago. Not only had my mother never seen it, but she hasn’t even been in Atlanta for almost three years. And so, I did what children do best. I had a tantrum. I insisted that she take a break; get away for some R&R and come visit. She finally agreed to make the necessary arrangements for my grandparents’ care and come for Memorial Weekend.
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When my father was admitted to the hospital for four days last week to address a kidney issue, I was sure the trip to Atlanta was off. I was waiting for word to cancel the plans and appointments (pedicures, facials, massages, etc.) I made. I was sure that my attempt to create a weekend of leisure had failed.
Lo and behold, he was released and was not deterred. I didn’t believe it until I got the call that they were in the car — driving and on their way.
I ran around like a rat in a maze doing last minute cleaning and straightening. My parents’ ETA was an hour earlier than expected. I was nervous about “the big reveal”…their first-time impressions of my ultra-modern home. I was ready for my mother’s “it’s nice, but it’s not my taste” reaction. I was determined to respond, “that’s okay; you’ll never have to live here.”
I didn’t expect my parents to love the house. I was unaccustomed to hearing compliment after compliment. Now I’m worried they may want to move in!
In all seriousness, it’s going to be a great weekend.