I had a conversation with my 82 year old mother about the negative affect of alcohol on our family. She said, “We had such a good family and then we got in with the wrong people.” I thought she was talking about Nate and Maggie and Gayle and Joe but she said it was the people they met and spent time with when they were on the road for Dad’s job as an industrial painter and sandblaster. We talked about some of the things that affected me and so much of it she has blocked out. She said she was so ashamed and that she is so proud that we remained “good” kids and became “good” adults.
I do not want my mother to feel shame, she grew up with a father who was an alcoholic and pedophile in a very poor family. Alcoholism came naturally to her and given all that she was exposed to, all that she and my dad went through, and all that she has come to light after her children were adults, she did the best she could and has come out strong. I will write about her someday soon and some painful memories will come out but also pride in the good that she has done.
It’s not easy bringing all this out with my mom but we both know that it needs to be settled before she dies or I will be left with painful questions. I need to understand all that we both experienced and she needs to know all that she did that was good and loving. She has loved me through some pretty tough stuff as an adult. She voices her opinion but supports my decisions as right for me. She always encourages me to be act in kindness.