Oh my goodness... our kitty has a problem!! My daughter went to pet her under the chin and all her fur is gone and the skin is bright red and sore. It is the whole area under her chin and totally not visible until you tip her head up. It probably has been an issue for at least a few days but because of where it is, we never saw it. I have no idea what it could be! She is acting fine otherwise but of course we have a call in to our vet (two vets, actually, trying to get her in ASAP) who will call if they can get her in today. Otherwise we are taking her in tomorrow. Man, what a bad time to have a sick/injured cat! She is 12 years old. I hope it is a simple fix and heals quickly. We are leaving this weekend for the beach and I will have to make sure someone is here who can care for this sore spot and give medication if needed.
In other news, I had a thought the other day that I have been subconsciously trying to channel my mom. If you've read my blog, you know I had an iffy relationship with her and have spent a long time healing from the pain she caused me while she was alive and in the months following her death. I have had this mixture of anger, resentment, peace, forgiveness, love, and disdain for her over the years. I have always felt I did not want to be ANYTHING like her, shunning the alcoholism, the fanatical religiousness, the self-absorption, and just about everything else I could shun. I have a bubbling, brewing, (festering?) desire to NOT be like her. And yet, in some way, perhaps I have been trying in a primal, subconscious way to connect to my mother via my weight and eating issues.
Crazy, isn't it? But one thing I learned while I was a foster parent is that children love their mothers. They love them if they are good mothers, and they love them if they are bad mothers. They love them even if they have abused them, beaten them, verbally attacked them, ignored them, starved them, and rejected them. Children, at least most children, deeply desire their mother's love, affection, and approval. And while I gave up on getting any of those things long ago... decades before my mother passed away... perhaps the inner child still wants to connect and be loved by a mother long gone.
Part of me, I think, feels there is this one thing that connects me to my mother. We had nothing in common... nothing but our obesity. She never saw me fat, never even knew I was obese, until very late in her life. When I came to her on her deathbed, I think she was surprised as she lay there dying to see her daughter in such a state. I was somewhere between 245 and 275 pounds at the time, and she, too, was morbidly obese. She laid eyes on me, and for once in my adult life I saw regret in her eyes and she said, "you know I always loved you." No, no actually I didn't. I still don't. But I said "I know, mom. I love you too."
She died in my arms and I wanted to forgive her. She left notes in her closet calling me to repentance (for what? I never understood) and a will specifically leaving me out and devoting everything to her church. Nothing to my children who lived in poverty with me at the time. Not even my father's things. She left family heirlooms to people I didn't even know, and her friends taunted me before her body was even cremated with the fact that she left me nothing. It was cold, and cruel, and it hurt me as much as watching her die had hurt. Even from beyond the grave, couldn't she have loved me? I always wished there had been a note of love instead of notes of condemnation. It's been difficult to let go of, yet I think in my own way I have.
So why do I try to channel her with my weight? Why do I feel connected to my mother as I battle my eating as she did every day of my childhood? Why do I feel like I am betraying her when I become thinner? I got to leave obesity... she never did... and it feels like yet another massive gorge between my mother and I.
I guess I will always long for her approval and acceptance. I guess part of me looks up to heaven and says "see mom? Look, I am like you! We are the same! I understand what you went through. I am going through it too. Do you love me now?" It is the only thing we have in common. Yet the other part of me knows we are not alike, not really, We share some genes. I see her in the mirror sometimes, or in my children's faces. I loved her even though she did not know how to love me back. Staying fat or losing weight won't change that. Neither state will bring us closer. It is something I am finally coming to accept.
It has been ten years since my mother died. I think when I go to the ocean next week, I will talk to her in the waves. She always loved the ocean, although she never took me there with her. But when I stand on the opposite coast of the United States and look west at the sunset a decade after she last looked east at the sunrise, perhaps I can let her know somehow that I am letting go of that last thing I felt was connecting us, and instead embracing the life she gave me and living it to the fullest.
Stereotypes of Divorce
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