Thursday, March 16, 2006

After Drifting

Having my mom home is like being inside an extended holiday. Things have more meaning, make more sense, are a more tangible cause for celebration. I'm not afraid when she's here, because I know she can take care of me when I stumble and fall. I think that ten, twenty years from now, even when she is dead and gone, during times when I desperately need help, I will be calling her name.

I suppose the only thing that saddens me about this entire affair is that she and my father are essentially separated. I suppose in this day and age, having separated parents aren't as rare as they used to be a few years ago, and I do know some people who have grown up with single parents: my best friend grew up with just her mother, and Bea's best friend, Francesca, is also the product of a broken family. However, I do not think of us as "broken" - I have spent more years remembering how my parents were Before, and cannot wrap my mind around the concept that they are now only married in the legal sense of the word, and that, what's worse, is that I know my father still loves my mother deeply, that there was no third party involved, but it was just a simple dissolution of love on my mother's part. And yet I cannot blame my mother because I love her deeply, and I understand why she has made the decisions she has made, and if there's one thing I appreciate about being the eldest, it's that I can see that neither side has fault, and that these are simply circumstances beyond our control. And thankfully, my younger siblings are of the same opinion - but we'd rather not talk about it.

Of course, being in a relationship as well, one realizes that love alone does not guarantee anything at all. After all, my parents have been married for more than 25 years, and together for about 5 or 6 years before that, before they drifted apart. And I use the word drift rather intentionally here: after all, it was my mother who boarded her little sailboat and went out into the open seas to explore the world, and it was my father who made the choice, because he loved her dearly, to allow her to explore the world, because that was what she wanted more than anything in the world, and that not even her family and her children could stop her from doing that. And right now, as I look at my own relationship, and wonder if this is the man I might ultimately end up with, I know that I am more similar to my mom in terms of values and morals, in terms of the way I live my life and the way I am making my way into this world, and yet I would like to think that I will not make the mistakes that she made as well, that I can be a better person in the end, and perhaps be able to do the things that she has never done - like see her own children grow up.

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