Momma said there’d be days like this….
Days like this….
It’s been a week. A, to-my-knees, eyes open, heart open, heart closed, heart beating, not-knowing, eyes closed, deep sleep, long walks, asking for help, receiving help, big hugs, big cry’s. A long walk. A new way. Kinda week.
And. I knew, my parents were coming this weekend, a trip they announced just more than week ago. About mid-week I started thinking about how inconvenient it was that they were coming now. That I needed to stay home, and turn down the lights, and go out only for yoga, eggs, and coffee.
I’m so glad they came.
They came over to my new house yesterday. And walked room-by-room exclaiming loudly how happy they were that I was living somewhere so beautiful. Moose followed them around the house as they went through. All they ever want to know is that I am okay and these old floors from 1920, and my pictures on the wall, and the old leather chair I just put in the corner last Sunday, say so.
My Mom checked the fridge to make sure I had enough food, and my dad ran his hands along the built-ins, smiling. So proud. As though I had built this house myself.
We sat down in the living room, and my Dad is all ‘we went to Uncle Toms, and he showed us the lady you’re working for on the computer (and then my Mom jumps in, LYN! SHE’S SO PRETTY!!!) and my Dad continues, and says yes, we read about her, and what she’s doing, and how she got there and wow, seems like you really found your spot. We are so proud of you.’
I smiled back at my Dad. Me too Dad, thank you, I am more than okay.
And this is the truth.
We spent the day together, I took them for a burger at in-n-out, then I took them to the Korean Grocery Store that my Mom had become mesmerized by from the commercials that she saw back home in North Carolina. And then I took them over to my sisters.
It’s been a long long time since all 3-of us have been together. More than 2-years. I watched them sit together while I waited for our burgers, side-by-side. Not saying too much. And smiled. I watched them as we bumbled through the Korean grocery store, my Mom sharing what good deals there were, and my Dad carrying the basket. I laughed out loud when my Mom put a pound of something in the bag I was carrying, but like threw it in there, and almost knocked me over. And we both laughed. Genuinely. It’s just her, she’s freaking rough. When she went to go put the next thing in my bag she paused and smiled at me ‘are you ready this time?’ and set it in gently.
We drove to my sisters, and talked about Nascar, health insurance, the weather, my lack of having a boyfriend, the airline business (my dad’s worked for USair for 45 years), my new job, and how homeless people (according to my Mom) can make up to $150 dollars a day sitting on the corner.
Instead of being quiet like usual, and stewing over the lack of things that I desired to talk about. I jumped in. Oh, what kind of car does that guy drive, Dad? What do you do when it gets cold, Mom? I left my feelings about panhandling out of the convo, and my mothers un-founded statistics, and put the radio on. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw my Mom singing along.
We got to my sisters, and my Mom started cooking, and, as usual kicked us all out of the kitchen. I took my nephew down to the park to play several rounds of horse, but he prefers (tiger, elephant, and dolphin). My Dad pointed his good ol’ point and shoot camera that he probably got at circuit city a decade ago, and stood on the side of the court like the paparazzi. No smart phone for Dad, he still has his ‘trusty clam shell’ as he likes to call it.
Also, side note, my parents voice messages on their cell phones are just like 1987 answering machines ‘uh, hi, we cant come to phone right now, but if you leave us a message after the beep, we’ll gladly get back to you’ (Mom yelling in the back).
The entire day I felt completely calm, and so grateful to have them around.
My Mom, is telling me about how she’s wearing a ‘jump suit, no wait, track suit, running suit, whatever this is Lyn’ and how it’s so comfortable and what a good deal it was. ‘I love the dicks, the dicks is the best.’ (referring to where she got the suit) and all I could say was, yes mom, the dicks is the best.
My Dad showed me pictures of his new truck, that he worked so damn hard for. And then he goes look look! It’s Moose! And sure enough pictures of Moose from 3-years ago on that point and shoot camera. And I mean, awful pictures, like terrible quality, all off-center, just ridiculous. But I can tell, that my Dad has shown those pictures to anyone who will stop to see them.
And then there’s my Mom laughing out loud telling me about the Korean reality shows she loves to watch. And how she’s getting so old. And oh Lyn, I am getting so so old, I cant move around very well (now my Mom is 62, very able-bodied, she walks like 5 miles everyday, but I think a lifetime of her life, has indeed aged her far past what I thought was true) she really does feel so old. And me telling her to stop it, is more for me, than her. Because, really, I just don’t want to lose her.
My parents are pretty simple.
With complicated pasts.
I grew up with a strong independence, and a work-ethic like no other, so that my life did not resemble the one I grew up in.
With a ‘I’ll show you’ kinda attitude. I gathered degrees, and paychecks, and friends in high places. Zip codes, suits, literal white collars, and passport stamps. I’ve sat at gala tables, and attended the most elite soires, I’ve developed a reputation of class, status and creativity. I’ve gone on 10-day silent retreats, and spent thousands of dollars on trainings, and a gazillion hours on my yoga mat, or off it, teaching,….all to first confront, then tame the anger and resentment I had felt growing up the way I did, with physical and emotional violence, with too much alcohol, and not enough money, and not enough of the love I craved, and to un-learn a lot of what I learned in my 20’s. Excess. Power. Numb.
It’s worked. And. It’s working. I have a great life. I have best friends. I am loved, and I love, deeply. I have money in the bank, and endless invites to dinner tables with people I adore. I am doing the damn work, every damn day, that is for sure.
In the past 5-years I’d say, through yoga, and through the real-deal telling of the truth, I have realized there is no area of my life, I simply want to tolerate or get through. I want to love my parents for who they are.
This weekend was the first weekend ever, I simply enjoyed their company. When I unwrapped the gift my Mom had gotten me (a table cloth, and a ‘life is good’ brand hot pink t-shirt, that has a golfer on it (I don’t golf). I smiled, said thank you, and I truly meant it. This is how she sees me. Oh, and don’t F with a Korean lady and her name brands, even if it’s 3 sizes too big or small, my Mom will always, ALWAYS buy something with a recognizable brand.
Driving them back to their hotel last night, my Mom asked me if she wanted me to get her some fruit from the continental breakfast in the morning. I said no Mom, I’m totally good. That morning, they had taken a fruit baskets worth of fruit from the holiday inn express, and brought it to my sisters house. My Mom was downright proud of her resourcefulness.
I tried to offer the angle of taking what you need. And blatantly shared that it’s a form of stealing.
Oh Lyn, she said, they give you the bags in the dining room, they WANT you to take it.
I just smiled, okay Mom. They didn’t need me to be all bougieus about it, they just needed me to take an apple so that I wouldn’t be hungry.
That’s the thing. So much of my adult life, career choices, etc. have all been so I’d never have to live life ‘like them’ as I’d explain it away.
When really, they never wanted that life for me either.
They have given up, given away, given in, to my ridiculous ways. There was never anything for me to prove. They worked their shitty jobs, and multiple jobs, never ever to be the example….but to pave the way. They didn’t pay for college or go to college, they wont be able to pay for my wedding one day, they got married in small-town church, 1-day before my Mom’s deportation, and still don’t know very big questions about each other, that I have asked again and again. They sleep in separate rooms, and have, always. They’re pals.
And here’s the thing…all my proving it? They never asked me too. Ever. I took that on myself.
They have always been proud of me, in their own ways, that never felt like the right way, so I dismissed it. I took their hands-off approach, as an ‘Im not invested’ conclusion, when truth is, this freedom, has given me the space to go around the world (literally). The fact that no one is every surprised to get a call from me that says I am in (insert any country, or place) is in large due to the fact that their lack of questions, left me to go find the answers by discovery. The fact that I have lived my life guided by a series of fearless, bold, choices. that I may not have ever made, had I been given the comforts that can keep us living in the middle. My parents in everything they did not give me, gave me everything I’ll ever need.
They’ll never read this. They don’t really know that I write. They’re happy with versions of the truth, and that’s okay.
This weekend showed me that it’s time to lay that down. In general. Proving it is fucking exhausting.
I heard my favorite song today, on the drive over to yoga. It was no coincidence. I put down the windows, and sang along, I sang at the top of my lungs.
He said: I have seen the others
and I have discovered
that this fight is not worth fighting
I have seen their mothers
and I will no other
to follow me where I’m going
the song ends with.
go now, you are forgiven.
go now you are forgiven.
go now you are forgiven.
They are on an airplane, on the way home now my Mom and Dad. At the end of a week where I just wanted to be alone, having them here was exactly what I needed.
All this love.
It was there all along.
Momma said there’d be days like this…days like this…my Momma said.
thank god for weeks that bring us to our knees, and days, just like this.