When the Smoke Clears…

Her daughter has failed her in all the important things.  She is doomed to spend her life alone because she cares nothing for finding a husband.  In fact, she’s completely contrary to the idea of dating.  You can tell – look at her boots – they are old and worn and she’s had that dress for years…  Her hair is never done; she dislikes makeup and what God gave her just isn’t enough.  How will she ever marry if she can’t even get the basics down?

What a failure she’s produced!  She, after all, gave her children everything and to see them now; worse than penniless beggars, they care nothing for a better life for themselves.  What selfish spoiled brats after all she’s done for them – how can they not want the same things she wants for them?  How can they not do everything in their power to please her?

Her daughter knows that she’s nothing more than a series of measurements to her mother.  She is her salary, a husband, a dress size or in the least a good car as proof that she’s lived a good life.  These measurements become less and less important and she sits quietly through the explosions at home, smoke thickening more and more each night, waiting calmly for an approval that won’t ever come.

They both think the other just doesn’t get it, yet they understand each other all too well – it’s more of a disagreement of what constitutes a life well lived.  To her mother it’s a white picket fence, 2.5 grandchildren and a secret vengeance so her daughter will know the hell she was put through.  Her daughter couldn’t care less for illusions of happiness or material success people tote around like trophies. 

She’d been so ashamed to admit how bad her devaluation had been through the years and all the damage done, but she works through it.  The tears each night come not from what she’s endured but a silent sadness for the blindness of her mother.  She knows the way you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself and she can only imagine how bad it’s gotten.

Oh, but she is so much like her – if you watch closely.  She was born with that killer charm and knows how to work a room with that type of joy that’s infectious.  She can’t sit still and carries around her fears in a metal locket; the one where she turns into the type of woman who takes her pain out on her loved ones; the one who’s black and white vision can never invite all the gorgeous color in or the one who can’t quite relinquish a control that was never there in the first place.

They are stuck together for life.  The mother, who only expects to be disappointed and the daughter, who’s only escape lies in seeking transcendence, sit together at the table.  One’s inflamed and angry and the other is finally learning to sit still through the turbulence.

They look each other in the eye because they are both still willing to try.  Where there is love, there is hope.

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  1. claudia - September 24, 2012

    Love your post today Jenny.