Pretty Wendy, Part II

“You didn’t know my mom until you knew her in her best spots. I believe we brought that out in each other.”

I was fourteen when she walked out of my life. She had been mostly a supporting character in my life whose appearances had been far and few between, but she finally decided to “build her nest” once she discovered she was pregnant with my soon-to-be sister.

There was a time — known as the “best of worst times” — where my mom was actually acting and behaving in her motherly role not only to me but to my sister who was still floating inside her belly. I guess it was her motherly instincts that had finally kicked in. She was going to football events, asking to see pictures of my girlfriend at the time, and asking if I wanted to go pick up my friends down the street so they could come over for pizza and games. She was present. That’s all I had ever wanted from her and she was knocking it out of the park.

This era lasted about a year and a half — or from the moment she knew she was having another child until the moment she had walked out on me for the very last time. It was during this time I experienced the most desirable side of her. She seemed happy, confident, and — most important of all — clean. It felt like my entire life of misery and sorrow had been leading up to this point and the weight of despair had suddenly been lifted as I got to spend time with her. Everything made sense. After everything that had been taken from me in my childhood, I was finally able to get the one thing I wanted: my Momma.

Even my friends seemed impressed with my mother’s attendance. They were aware of her absenteeism throughout my life and were happy to be a part of the joy I was experiencing. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. We were just a bunch of teenagers after all.

You didn’t know my mom until you knew her in her best spots. I believe we brought that out in each other. When she left, she robbed both of us of that opportunity. In the sickest form of self-sabotage, I believe that I will never be the best version of myself without her. I will always be half a step back from where I could be. At times I feel I cannot withstand the constant storm that is grief. Coated in regret to taste sweeter, and chased by ill-taken responsibility and self-pity to help it go down. But our worst fears regurgitate in our thoughts and actions. I could not save you, Mother. I was not good enough for you, and that’s simply never going to be good enough for me.

“I could have saved you. I could have done more. I could have responded to your texts and letters. I could have pulled you out of the hell you had sunk your teeth into had it not been for me trying to simply enjoy my own fucking life I should have been a better fucking son to you I could have fucking done something — ANYTHING.”

I don’t know if I could have done anything to truly alter my mother’s path of destruction, But it’s the uncertainty that will drive me to the ends of the earth. One does not simply replace a mother. They do not grow on trees. They are waiting to be discovered in the deepest of mines. They are 1 of 1 in a depreciating society that takes them for granted.

I suppose that once I find peace in my mother’s passing, I will have found myself. I look forward to that day.

they’re just words