Friday, April 8, 2011


When are we finally grownup?

Is there a date, a time, a place in our lives where we know that we have grown up? Being more than 'adults'.

Adult sounds like we have reached that time in our lives when we are "grown up". And I know that isn't necessarily true. Not for me anyway.

I think I mean the time when you are grown up enough to accept all the things that have happened in your life. Does that ever arrive?

It hasn't knocked at my door yet.

I have survived many difficult issues in my life. Surgeries, death of dear friends, death of family, death of my husband, death of my dear father. And loss of my mother to Alzheimer's.

But I still don't feel grown up.

But I do feel beat up.

I imagine it all goes back to the Mother-Daughter relationship in my life.

Did you have a wonderful relationship with your Mother? Did you appreciate it? Did you tell her?
I didn't have any of that. I didn't have that loving Mother-Daughter relationship...not my life.

It has always been a mystery to me..our relationship. Even before my sister came along there wasn't much between us. I really don't remember anything about my mother until my younger sister came along when I was 5 years old. And my memories are of her holding , cuddling and loving my sister. No memory of her kind words directed my way. I felt that I was just in the way.

And that was the way it was all my life. She didn't seem to realize I needed her, wanted her love and attention. And I believe that is why my dad took me under his wing and tried to make up for what my mother was lacking. We spent hours in the evenings talking and sharing our days together. I am so thankful for what my dad was to me.

And then he said the words that I always knew were there. Always hanging in the air, hidden away in the closest like a hated old sweater never to be worn again. But being kept with the hope of renewal.

"I don't know why your Mother never liked you."

I was 35 years old.

That is the moment the adult in me left the room. I have always felt that my mother didn't like me but I have never heard those words spoken out loud. They sounded so sharp and painful and they could never be taken back.

That is when I realized I have never felt like an adult. How can you claim to be an adult when you are still craving so much from your childhood.
I never let my father know what those spoken words did to my heart that day. He didn't know I had lived with them in my heart all these years. He had no idea they were the words that were stealing my Adulthood from me.

I carefully put those words back where I had been keeping the back of my mind.
And that is where they will live out their life..alone, in silence, in the dark recesses of my mind never to be spoken again.
I have found happiness in my life but it was long in coming. I was passed 50 when I decided that I would marry again. And a wonderful man came into my life at just the right time. He is kind and gentle, soft spoken, loving, fun and he has brought me more joy than I could ever have imagined in my life.
Yes, my dad would have been so excited about my new life..and good friends with my husband.
No, I do not feel that I am an adult yet. But when I decide what I want to be when I do grow up I will let you know and you can decide if I am really an Adult then.
Until then, I am loving this wonderful life.


keewee said...

My dear friend, remember how we bonded right from the first moment we met. Little did we know at the time, how similar the paths in our lives had been, it wasn't until we started having our intimate girl to girl talks, that we found out just how alike our lives are. I am so thankful to have you for my friend.
love & hugs

Sylvia Ney said...

I think you are a grown up when you start to give great answers like your parents did. "Because I said so. That's why." It's so great to find your blog. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

GAIL said...

Keewee, yes, I knew the moment I spoke to you that you were the friend I had been looking for all my life. When I think of all our girl talks...especially in the dressing rooms at work as we cleaned up after the customers who would see how many pants they could try on then leave them in a pile on the floor...I always smile and laugh!! What great times those were. And here we are, so many years later...closer than ever. Love to you my Dear Friend. Hugs, Gail

GAIL said...

Sylvia, please do stop by again!!

Misha said...

Hmm... being an adult is many things, I think...

I'm not there either, and you know what? I don't want to be. I like the fact that I can keep some of my child-like (not childish) qualities, because they are the reason why I feel my life so sharply.

I fear that the day I become an adult is the day I become numb.

GAIL said...

Misha, I like what you had to say about this post. I too am still..and always will be...a child at heart. And I realize that I do enjoy that life so I am going to continue on with it!
Thank you for stopping by.

Rae said...

I consider you my dear friend, and your post makes me want to hug you and tell you it's all going to be okay...We could run along that beach near your place, build sand castles, hunt seashells, and snack on cheese and crackers in the shade of a tree later...and talk about how life will be when we grow up...
I am sorry about your mother...but you need to realize that it was also HER that was missing out on a great relationship with YOU. Despite feeling unloved, you have grown into a beautiful, sensitive and caring woman...I applaud you.
Maybe it's time put away those harsh words and consider them a piece of childhood that should be buried forever.
We love you, Gail.Thanks for exposing your heart with us...

GAIL said...

Rae, your note means a lot to me and I agree about putting those words away. That is my plan.
Someday we just may play in the sand by the sea together and look for sea shell treasures. And I am looking forward to that long talk in the shade by the beach.
Thank you

Giggle, Laugh, Cry said...

I don't feel like an adult either but I guess I am. I'm 46 years old! I also can't believe I'm a mother. I thought it would all feel different, but not really. I am wiser but an adult? nah!
Just stopping by as a fellow A to Z Challenge taker!

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