Sunday, February 05, 2006

tick tock

Over the last few years, as I've gotten older, and have realized that she is actually wiser than I am, Mom and I have become much, much closer. We talk on the phone two or three times a week. She even asked me for advice when she started dating again, and she's got an encyclopedia of knowledge that I can tap into when it comes to dealing with fidgety felines. I may know more about world politics, but she knows more about life.

Unfortunately, most of our conversations lately have been about money as well as long discussions about where is the best place for me to be right now. I want to stay in Stockholm, but sometimes I wonder if I haven't "done my time" here, so to speak. I could leave within a few months with the knowledge that there were no loose ends, that I had done what I came here to do (don't ask me what I came here to do; I'm referring more of a feeling of being finished, which is rather difficult to articulate).

My family has been wonderful since my car accident in August, as I have been trying to get back on my feet, literally, the last few months. My employment situation is tenuous at the moment, although I'm working on correcting the situation. The current research project is finished this month, and while there are several leads I'm pursuing, I'm going to be anxious until I get something more conrete nailed down.

My mom asked me tonight to do two things for her: call or write to my grandparents (morföräldrar) once a week, and do the same thing for my father. "If not for yourself or for them, than for me."

Damn, she knows where it hurts. Guess that's where I learned it.

I know I should do a better job of keeping in touch with Grandma and Grandad. That request, I guess I can fulfill. But the request to make contact with my father, that one's a little trickier. My parents were divorced when I was 16. We never have had the best relationship, and suffice it to say that while I can intellectually understand why he is way he is (and was the way he was when I was growing up), that doesn't make it any easier on an emotional level. My father is not able to live by himself anymore, and while medication keeps him "stable," I don't think there is much of a chance for us to renew our relationship. I honestly prefer not to think about it at all, rather than having anything to do with him. Maybe that's part of the reason I moved to the other side of the world. I don't know.

Grandma and Grandad are both 92, and just moved into a retirement home last summer. Mom has been taking care of them for the last five years or so, and it's been taking it's toll on her. She is stuck in a job that is going nowhere, just trying to hold out to retirement. Her boyfriend (her so-called "gentleman friend") is a fourteen hour drive away, and her only child is on the other side of the world. Her life, as in the life she lives for herself, is essentially on hold. She's waiting for G&G to get really sick, waiting for retirement, waiting for Something to Happen.

Don't get me wrong. In some ways, the situation is self-styled. When it comes right down to it, she could say no. Stand up for herself. Take back her life. But I understand why she doesn't. It's hard to change your own situation when there are other people depending on you. Other People that You Love. Other People that Would Have a Hard Time Understanding Why Things Suddenly Changed.

Sometimes it's easier to wait. But time can run out while you are waiting for Something to Happen.

I guess I can do these two things she has asked me to do. If not for myself, for her.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kommissarie :)
Could you send me your email address? Mail me at There is something I think you'd like.
Also, I think we live parallel lives. Love lives anyway.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Ms.Take said...

All warm thoughts from me to you.

Yes, if you can do these things for her then I am sure you would make your mother a much happier woman - in the end rewarding you with that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know you made someone you love happy :)

11:42 PM  
Blogger Diva Kitty said...

There, I commented. Reow.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Max said...

Hmm... seems fathers are tricky.
I had a period of about 7 years when I avoided all kinds of contacts with my father.
I couldn't say why back then, but I know now that a long break was nessecary for me to be able to meet him as adult to adult rather than son to father. Now we meet as equals (more or less) and get along a lot better because of it.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's important to realize that we all have difficult relationships and issues in our families. You have to remember though that you can find an incredible strength in that family relationship. Sometimes you have to accept situations like they are and realize that you can't change them. I think you should definately listen to your mother, support her and at least travel to visit her. Hey, at least the weather has to be nicer where she is than in Sweden right now (-6 celsius and snow storm).

3:29 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Write to them now, rather than be sorry that you didn't later...? And, are you sitting down because here's a tired sentence; life's too short...

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Mio said...

Its hard, the relationship you have with your parents. I'm on my way to move far away home (Not as far as you tho, of course) and I dont think I will keep much contact with my family. As Max said, its mostly because I have to find myself in order to come back and meet them as equals. Only then can I have a giving relationship with my family. Its always complicated, what you have with your family.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous geena said...

I know that women who are old enough to be your mother are not your main audience here at Curiosa, but this particular woman who is old enought to be your mother loves every word of this post.

And your relationship with your mother reminds me so much of that I have with my daughter, except that neither of us is waiting for Something to Happen. (And I'm the one that moved to Sweden.)

Big motherly hug,

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Åse said...

Someone very wise once said to me (when I was in a similar dilemma):
"it doesn´t make xxx situation any better, knowing you are worring about it".

6:32 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...


I sent you an email. Great to hear from you!


7:28 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

Hey, at least the weather has to be nicer where she is than in Sweden right now (-6 celsius and snow storm).

Unfortunately, it's actually COLDER in Idaho than it is here in Sweden right now. Think -6 farenheit!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

So, What did you go to Sweden to do?

Nah, only joking. I can see you've got a bad emotional time going on.

Definitely write to you're Grandparents I would say (I wish I'd kept in touch with mine better), but I couldn't give you advice about you Dad. Me and my Dad have always been pretty close. I guess it's a father/son same as mother/daughter thing.

Good luck anyway with you're choices antway :-)

PS. These "word verification" things piss me off! Ach well . . . such is life

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"släkten är värst" as you say in Sweden,and it's true.

Haven't spoken to my Dad for two years, and I can't say I miss him. My Grandma(maternal)phoned me up after X-mas, weird as I hadn't spoken to her for a long time. Didn't have anything to say except "what's the weather like"...

In my job as a nurse I meet a lot of families, and I've never met the "perfect family" yet...

"Friends are the family you choose for yourself"

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Josephine said...

that would be sweet of you... you know even small postcards means a lot!

8:29 PM  
Anonymous wee1 said...

It is almost ten years since I decided not to have anything to do with my father. I have never regretted it. You are NOT obliged to love your parents, even for the other parent's sake.

YOU decide if you want to have contact with your dad - It is not a Hallmark moment, it is your life. I am sure your mother would not pressure you if she realized that it would probably not make you feel any better, maybe even worse, than you do now.

You are grown up and you are not stupid. You decide.

12:15 PM  
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9:51 AM  

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