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Home for the Holidays: Day 7

So I'm coming home tonight. Last night, my mom threw a monkey wrench in my bitterness. She cornered me, took me by the shoulders, stared in my eyes, and said, "I need something from you."

Huh?

"I need you to forgive me for all the things that I did wrong when you were growing up. I know I screwed up. But I did the best I knew how to do at the time. And I need you to forgive me. And when you're ready, I need you to tell me."

Jesus. Of course, I'm trying not to cry, and she's crying, and all I can say is, "I'm trying. I love you, but I'm trying on the other stuff. It takes some time, Mom. It takes . . . a lot of writing. And a lot of time. But I'll let you know."

I hugged her and left.

Then it hit me that maybe she needed to forgive herself.

So I tried that conversation this morning, but somehow it degenerated into a discussion about God and about how if you were lacking faith you needed to just go to church and listen. That made me profoundly uncomfortable. So I wrapped that up as quickly as possible, gave her a squeeze, and went to finish packing. This has been one weird freakin trip.

Well, at least I don't need to feel bad about writing about it. "Mom," I told her, "I've been doing a lot of writing about my truth. And you know, we all have different truths. But until I write mine, I can't really move forward in this whole thing."

"Well, I think that's probably true," she said.

This is where I really hope a book deal comes through, one that passes under her radar. Jesus, what a boondoggle.

1:41 P.M.: So this morning was my father's turn to attack my approach to family, particularly to my fabulously screwed-up relationship with my parents. He was a little more aggressive than my mom. Make that a lot more.

"You know," he said, "You have to get to a point where you let the past go and forgive me and your mom for things we did in the past."

I do?

Then he launched into this long deal about how until I could learn to forgive them and not be so angry, I would never be an OK person, etc. etc. etc.

Ack.

All the while, he was going through various bills and budgets of mine, shaking his head, and writing checks to get me through my unemployment. Finally, I said, "Look, I know it's not true, but all this stuff with the money makes me feel like you're paying for your mistakes."

Big mistake.

That pissed him off.

Probably because it's partially true.

Then there was the continuing request to speak with my shrink so that he and my mom could "understand" what was going on with me. Yikes

Finally, I just turned back to my book, said, "I can't talk about this anymore right now," thanked him for the dough, and moved on to something else.

Only eight hours and I'll be at home in my bed.

Claudia Hunter is the Beachwood's pseudononymous holiday affairs correspondent. She is reporting from the homefront in Central Pennsylvania. Previously:

* Home for the Holidays: The Preamble
* Home for the Holidays: Day 1
* Home for the Holidays: Day 2
* Home for the Holidays: Day 3
* Home for the Holidays: Day 4 (Christmas Eve)
* Home for the Holidays: Day 5 (Christmas)
* Home for the Holidays: Day 6



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Posted on December 27, 2006


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