It overwhelms me instantaneously and irrationally distracts me. It’s my very own mother for Christ’s sake! Why does the simple task of responding to her become an onerous obligation of organization? Immediately, the queasiness overwhelms me. While this genuine sentiment oozes from my existence, I am plagued by the burden of my confession. But I am still safe. I’m still far enough away to sweep her under the carpet each evening, along with all my other unmentionables. 

But even the thought of doing that is so “not me.” But maybe it is? I’m the one who says what you are thinking and says what you think you don’t want to say out loud. I’m the comic relief who’s afraid of no one or no thing. The one who is never embarrassed and never afraid to be whoever you are, warts and all. Absolutely absolute in a world of maybe. Maybe except those warts; those warts are too ugly to see the light of day, safely hidden beneath my coutured coif.

But I don’t want to transport this cargo. Whether it’s onus or psychological independence or a strange way of abandoning the past miseries of the dysfunctional, running away in plain sight, charging forth with vigor and strife, looking forward and not back, she calls, I stumble. I stumble egregiously on my remorse and my innate desire to please, do the right thing, and to survive; to land on my feet even from a 50 foot drop. And yet the older I get, the less tolerant I am of the indiscretions, the simple and yet acceptable character maiming discourse, the passively aggressive commentary and a legacy I pray doesn’t infect my offspring. And that nausea, maybe it’s just a mother’s instinct to protect her brood, so incarnate that any attempt to regulate that sensation would be a reckless abandonment of duty. Or it’s just a textbook definition of anxiety. The tranquil answer to the myriad of PhDs that she judiciously filtered through until discovering the one that was able to tell her it was never her fault, she should never be held responsible and that the world owed her everything for the life she had to endure. Having transfused the regret, anger and resentment through her blood, to our flesh, each pulsation serves as a reminder. 

As I stand from my tumble, tattered knees and all, I cart my hefty birthright delicately; trying hard to maintain the virtuous, only discarding the caustic. But when my mobile illuminates those familiar credentials, immediately and tragically I tumble down that divergent path I had been successfully eluding. So for now, I look down at my distressed legs to discern the innumerable scabs, validation of what has been forgotten, and pray, that as each layer of acrimony cascades, I will surge, rocketing through like a hand reaching for salvation.


Richmond, VA

Mother of four, wife to one. Attorney by day, attempts at supermom by night. Writing is a habit I don't want to forget about, but don't have the confidence(yet) to actually grant myself those accolades.

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