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May 1, 2013: Distant Relations

My mother and I have never, ever, ever, gotten along. Not ever. Family lore has it that I was born premature, and taken away from her for the first few days. And, as she says, my father didn’t allow her to nurse me. My thinking is that we were born in differing astrological zones. It’s now immaterial.

This is it. Either we now get along or we never will. And if we don’t, I will after her passing, live to regret it. Live to are key words here; because those who die don’t ever regret anything. You pop out on the other side of the portal, look around, and then tell yourself “finally, life is good.”

I don’t want to have any regrets. So I’m now overlooking my mother’s

imperfections and making note of her strengths. She at times does act like she’s two years old, in what can only be described as a very childlike fashion. But then she seems to snap out of it, and say things that are insightful and revelatory. I am learning to live for those moments, of which there are many.

Like today, we were unpacking stuff. I asked her what she wanted me to do with a knickknack of some kind. She looked at it, and then at me, and said “toss it.” “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yes. Stuff. I don’t need it. It’s not important. It’s just stuff.” I was impressed because mother had obviously learned something that many of us never do – how to let go of material things.

Yesterday, or maybe the day before, it dawned on me that this trip isn’t about me. Rather, it’s about getting mom situated in a place where she’ll be happy and comfortable. And it’s about giving her and Eleanor a hand with the end phase of relocation. In order to do this, I must let go of my ego.

How did this revelation come to be? I think that it has something to do with my doing yoga. I never before understood what all the talk about abandoning the self actually meant. Now I do. Putting theory to practice is, of course, going to be difficult – but I really do believe that this is the first of what will be a remaining life-long process.

Next: 122: 5/2/13: American Mattress