Thursday, March 04, 2010

We Should All Be So Lucky

Rarely do I weep over the words of another blogger.

Maybe I just don't read those kinds of blogs. I don't know.

Yesterday however, a beautiful friend wrote a lovely missive about how, when she was finally ready to disclose her lifestyle to her parents, they accepted her choices and loved her just the same.

And I wept...twice1.

I've pulled some crazy stunts in my life. In fact, I think I've mentioned my epic fail(s) passing anyway. There are still some things that are sacred and do not belong in this space.

Each time, my mom came to the rescue, helped pick up the pieces, helped put this Humpty Dumpty back together again - without guilt trips, without embittered words, without disapproval. She did this for each one of us. Some fails of the others I know about. I'm sure there are some of which I have no clue.

In high school, when I started exploring goth before goth existed, she didn't bat an eye at all the black clothing in my closet. She helped me pick out most of it...and paid for all of it. When I wanted to dye my hair, she took me to her hair salon and asked her hairdresser, Pam...the best in town, to do whatever she and I decided. Kristin might remember the purple hair with the bright orange flames in the back. *sigh* Still the coolest dye job of all time.

The point is that, no matter what crazy decisions I made, she never showed me anything but acceptance and support.

Still, even while I knew this intellectually, I hid some of the most important aspects of my adult, 30-something life...from her. Why? Fear of rejection? Disappointment? Fear of finally pushing her acceptance limit to maximum capacity?

Quite simply, yes.

All of the above. And more.

But hiding and lying take a lot of work. I put an abundance of emotional energy in hiding who I was and what I wanted from my life...emotional energy I didn't have to spare.

And when I finally got to the breaking point, exhausted and unable to carry the burden of deception any longer, and had my "coming out" conversation, her first words to me were "That must have been really hard to tell me. Now don't you feel better?"

And that was pretty much it.

We've talked about some of it over wine on her patio. Patio wine nights, enveloped in the dark of the Wyoming sky, as we share our secrets, are some of my most favorite memories. There are tears. There are giggles. There is a tremendous amount of love and acceptance.

I appreciate this even more knowing my father is the antithesis of acceptance. I don't take her acceptance for granted. It is a gift I'm fortunate to have. I'd like to think I'm able to pass on at least a little of that same kind of acceptance and support in my own way to others.

So thank you, Mom, for being the mom you are. I wouldn't have turned out nearly so well without you.

Now...about that long overdue wine night...I cannot wait! We've got a lot of catching up to do!

1: The first time yesterday when I first read the post and again this evening when I re-read it to refresh my memory. The message was that powerful for me.


Anonymous said...

I loved that blog entry so much, it makes me happy to know that some people have parents that totally accept their children for who they are. I wish everyone was as lucky as you two *smile* PJ

Betsy Taggart said...

Oh my goodness, now I'm the one weeping. Thank you for this. Love, Mom

Kristin said...

I've never met your mom, but I ADORE her! In a world where love & acceptance seem to be in such short supply, it's refreshing to be reminded that it IS out there. Thanks, both Betsy and Jane, for being so awesome & inspiring, and for sharing that!