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Sweet Child O Mine

Blogging three days a weeks is like a muzzle. I have about ten stories to tell, and I’m supposed to write one post today and be silent until Monday.

Dammit.

But this post is supposed to be about my mother. She deserves that pride of place.

The timeline of my life is defined by my connection to my mother. Through high school, college, a failed marriage and being dumped by another man I loved, I leaned on my mother. I craved her counsel, her ear, even her warmth in my bed as I cried myself to sleep. I needed her.

Too much, I thought. I went from her roof to my ex-husband’s to a relationship where the man defined me and back to the cocoon of my mother, all in the first 31 years of my life.

At 32, I decided to figure out who I was. Because it was waaaaaay past time for me to do that.

And that didn’t go over well with Mom.

She still believes I lost my mind when I was dumped. Heartbreak-induced-insanity. I contend that I was tired of being the Andra everyone else envisioned. I needed to discover who I was for myself.

Perhaps, we’re both right.

Whichever story one believes, I sent our relationship into a tailspin that reverberated for almost a decade. All because I wanted to be friends with my mother instead of being her child, even though I couldn’t define what that meant.

I know I screwed up her various attempts.

Take the time she accosted me while I was on the toilet……….

To be continued tomorrow, because like I said, I just can’t do this three-day-week thing all the time.

Until next Thursday, this is going to be my view.

cabin

Thanks to the generosity of Tamie and Sam Herin, I’m in Montreat, North Carolina. Making words. The irony of writing on Mississippi Road isn’t lost on me……..If you don’t have these words of mine, what are you waiting for????? To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

amazon.kindle.barnesnook.ibookstore.kobo

 

53 Comments Post a comment
  1. Andra, it appears you DID find out who you were…through writing and someone who adores you. Anxiously waiting part 2 of your story…

    May 8, 2014
    • Some of that is going in the current book I’m writing, but it’s fun to sift through these scenes and decide what to put here versus there.

      May 8, 2014
  2. Have a great week away, just you and your words. Can’t wait til you’re able to share them with us!

    May 8, 2014
    • I just gave 100 pages to MTM. I vomited afterwards.

      May 8, 2014
      • Oh dear. Believe in yourself. Trust in your talent. xoxo

        May 8, 2014
      • It’s never easy to trust at this stage. It’s a real vomit of words, but it usually gets better the more I work it.

        May 8, 2014
      • Geez, you’re really selling the merits of book writing. 🙂 Where do I sign up?

        May 8, 2014
      • It ain’t easy to get to the end, but I love the result.

        May 8, 2014
      • And I love the result of your work too.

        May 8, 2014
  3. It’s a high wire walk sometimes, knowing when to be the “child” and when to assert adulthood; yet, given the opportunity, I’d gladly repeat the process.

    Loving this getting to know your Mom better. Hope you have a peaceful, productive week.

    May 8, 2014
    • Went into Asheville to Francine Prose’s book signing this evening. She was pretty funny.

      May 8, 2014
  4. Nice view! I am envious. Enjoy your time in the mountains.

    May 8, 2014
  5. A cliffhanger! Nice one! Based on what you’ve said about your mom I can just picture her giving advice, just like my mom when she also thought I’d lost my mind over two men she didn’t like. She was afraid I’d made the same mistakes she made. Sigh. Mother/daughter relationships are always tricky.

    May 8, 2014
    • Mom never liked anyone I dated. She wasn’t even a fan of MTM at first.

      May 8, 2014
  6. Lance #

    I love this.

    My relationship with my mother is so complicated, it’s its own facebook classification. We don’t get along and I’ve run out of ways to make it better.

    I’m looking forward to part 2.

    also, I sent you an email. don’t freak out.

    May 8, 2014
  7. As someone who’s been estranged from my parents for a long time because of various reasons (but one in common — that feeling like they rejected you for the decisions you were making), this story pulls me in. I really want to know how you’ve recovered that relationship, and how that’s working out for you. I look forward to the second installment. (Also, I’m with you on the muzzle bit. I’ve actually written so much back log that I could just stop writing for a couple of months altogether and still be able to post three or four times a week. Which, for me, is a good place to be. This taking a break, even for a week, to catch my breath, was the greatest thing in the world — thanks for encouraging me to do so. I almost — not completely, but almost — feel reborn)

    May 8, 2014
    • I’m not sure I’ve fully recovered the relationship. I hope I have. It’s better than it was, at least, and that’s a very good thing.

      May 8, 2014
  8. I know what you mean about feeling like there’s a muzzle on you when you limit your posting schedule. I used to post every day, but now only a few times per week. It’s a different approach, to be sure.

    I hear ‘ya about the mother thing. I don’t talk about mine very often because even though I loved her dearly there were always… issues. That still hold me back today. [And now I have an idea for a post.] Looking forward to learning more about your mother.

    May 8, 2014
  9. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    I discovered that your mother CAN be your friend but, her first responsibility (and her heart) will always be to be your mother. No matter how old you are, you are always a child in your mother’s eyes. It is also true that no one will ever love you with the unconditional love of a mother. Hope you are enjoying this lovely weather and that I will see you tonight at Malaprops. If you don’t make it, we always have lunch next week! xxoo

    May 8, 2014
    • Good to see you for a few minutes. Sorry I was late. I had to park four blocks away, and I got waylaid by the comedy tour bus, telling me they needed locals on the tour. MTM told me to just throw a dress on and head into Asheville, but I didn’t realize I’d done such a good job of grungy fitting right in.

      May 8, 2014
  10. This week and next we’re living in my mom’s house. She’s gone, but she’s still here in so many ways. It was my dad’s house too, but Mom was the one who defined it and knew where every last thing was.

    May 8, 2014
    • Isn’t it funny, all the different ways we can be haunted?

      May 8, 2014
  11. My mom passed 26 months ago. We didn’t really get along and she drove me batty most of the time. But I really do miss her. I’m enjoying hearing your stories about your mom.

    May 8, 2014
    • I know I’ll miss my parents, regardless of how crazy they sometimes make me. (And I know I do more than my part in driving them nuts.)

      May 8, 2014
  12. yeseventhistoowillpass #

    You turned out a pretty balanced soul!

    May 8, 2014
  13. Well this sounds promising. My Mother and I went several go-rounds on me discovering I wasn’t who she expected me to be as well. I may have started younger, but it wasn’t until my sister intervened and told my Mother what she’d seen about my ex that made the turn around. Tell me MORE!

    May 8, 2014
    • It’s great that your sister could take your part and mediate. I’ve never really had that, either, but I can’t write about my sibling on my blog. He’s forbidden it.

      May 8, 2014
  14. The last step to growing up is to break and remake the relationship. We lean on and need in mothers in one way as children. When we arrive in adulthood, we need to re-make our relationships with our parents. I did exactly the same thing Andra. It strained my relationship with my beloved mother for a while. But it has worked out well. She thought I took leave of my senses, but I was only diverging from her path into my own. Now, we have appreciation of each of our paths…and see how my walking hers allowed me to create my own.

    May 8, 2014
    • Your story is one that gave me hope in some of my darkest moments. I’m so glad you cared enough to share it with me.

      May 8, 2014
  15. my mother passed almost 2 years ago, and it was complicated to say the least. i’m glad you were able to find your way back to a good relationship with your mother )

    May 8, 2014
  16. Always interesting. looking forward to part ll

    May 8, 2014
  17. Looking forward to the rest of the story and feeling giddy that we get more of you albeit, temporarily. 🙂

    May 8, 2014
    • Ha. I’ve got to sit here now and write the next installment, after writing most of the day. We’ll see how tired or inspired I am. 🙂

      May 8, 2014
  18. For marriage to be a success, every woman and every man should have her and his own bathroom. The end. ~ Catherine Zeta-Jones

    I expect she’d say the same about parents and grown offspring. 😎

    May 8, 2014
    • I used to use her bathroom when I visited, but I stopped that sometime after this episode.

      May 8, 2014
  19. Kir Piccini #

    I get along with my mom, not that I always did, but there are parts of both of us that feel like home to one another. I remember when my dad died, my sister and brother never truly recovered because they were the other half of him…my mom is my other half. Not romantically, but biologically and in every way that matters.

    I wrote a piece about her and I described my broken hearts (I do think we do go slightly insane when our heart is broken for no good reason) ..she healed them, even when she was saying ‘I told you so”. My pregnancy , my marriage, my writing…it all comes back to me needing her.

    I worry about losing her and I hate that she will be moving to Georgia later this summer. Her being too far from me geographically is scary, kind of of like the quote about your heart walking around outside your body.

    I look forward to the next part.

    May 8, 2014
    • My mom did that for me for so long. But I always felt like the relationship never grew to the next level. I think it has now, but it was a bumpy ride to get there. I’m glad to read an example of someone who managed to make it work through life.

      May 8, 2014
  20. tarakianwarrior #

    Ah, the relationship between a mother and daughter is fraught with ups and downs. My mother has taught me to be a better mother to my beloved Carrington, who, in turn, will be an even better mother than I.

    May 8, 2014
  21. Enjoying your thoughts and life experiences. I lost my mom when I was 26; I always wonder what she’d think of me now. I’m sure we’d be buds. Am looking forward to all your installments.

    May 8, 2014
    • It’s sobering sometimes to realize that I’m my mother’s age when I was a scrappy teen. I still feel like that scrappy teen.

      May 8, 2014
  22. I’m on the edge of my “seat”, ha ha ha, waiting for the rest of the story. I love yr Mom for making a soft place for you to come back to. And I love Montreat, where my husband vacationed with his family every year. What an inspired place to write!

    May 8, 2014
    • I’m so lucky to be here. When Sam said I could use the place over a casual dinner, I told him not to offer, because I would take him up on it. Three months later, and here I am. I’ve been all over the Asheville area, but I’d never been to Montreat, and it is, well, a treat. 🙂

      May 8, 2014
  23. Well. This is getting innnnnteresting (as always!). I’ll be back for more…

    May 8, 2014
  24. It’s a wonderful support in life to have a mom that knows how to comfort. Not every mother is particularly good in that department, but all boundary issues aside, your mother knows how to support and defend you. What a gift. I look forward to the next installment…whether that’s tomorrow or Monday! 🙂

    May 9, 2014
  25. wow, I remember listening to that group as a teanager and especially that song. That really took me back down memory lane for sure. 🙂 Have fun doing what you love the most Andra.

    May 9, 2014

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