Mothers and daughters, what is it with this relationship that is so difficult, so fraught with tension? My father had surgery last Wednesday and what was expected to be a simple procedure turned complicated and he was very unwell. I decided I needed to be here in Sweden, both for him and my mother, and for myself. So I jumped on the next flight filled with romantic visions of my mother and I sitting at the kitchen table, really talking, drinking wine, becoming closer, while my father grew stronger and stronger in the hospital.
Of course it's far more complicated than that. Without my dad here everything is somehow off balance. Despite her incredible experiences during the war; being forced to salute Hitler as he rode through the town, hiding in haystacks from the raping invading Russians, fleeing under dangerous conditions from east to west Germany, she has grown very conservative, very narrow-minded as she's aged. And as I listen to her talk I feel bile rising, smoke coming out of my ears, blood threatening to burst my arteries.
And sometimes I have to hide. Hide from her, but also from the guilt of wanting to hide. I come and sit quietly in this room; I try to breathe deep into my belly, I try to accept and love her, unconditionally.
And when she goes to bed at night and I hear her sing softly to herself I'm flooded with feelings of tenderness, and I'm able to let it all go. And tomorrow I know I will try again, I'll try harder to be accepting and understanding.
This photo has been manipulated using Typorganism. So far it's my favourite tool.