my mother and i had a complicated relationship. like i told j, no one was meaner to me but at the same time loved me as much as she did. maybe it was because i was a lot like her in so many ways (which i don't think she ever wanted to recognize, telling me so many times "you are just like your father.") she was brutally (and sometimes unnecessarily) honest and emotionally high maintenance which only got worse as she got older. i also learned pretty early that whatever i told her could come back later to bite me in the ass.
but she's also the one who taught me how to knit and crochet and do needlepoint. she quizzed me for school, took on teachers and principals who held me back, insisted i stay home sometimes for mental health days because school had me so stressed out (some of that stress was self-imposed but also she would have not been shy about showing her disappointment if i got anything less than an A). although her spoken english was fluent, she was insecure about her written english, so i was the one who wrote the notes to the teacher which she would sign. she took me to get my ears pierced when i was 7, years before my friends were allowed to. she also put blonde streaks in my waist length hair when i was in the 8th grade because i asked her to. (she refused to let me cut it though). she never hid anything from me, believing that the more i knew, the better i could protect myself (whether i wanted to know about it or not). i could go on.
thank you for your messages of condolences. i've always felt that my words of sympathy kind of fell short. i can often feel personally responsible for a person's feelings (yeah, thanks mom for that ;) but now i know that every card, message and touch has meant so much. so i sincerely thank you.