This time last year I was lying on my bed with a heavy blanket of misery over me. It was my mom's memorial service and it had been a day of keeping a brave face, mingling with people I hadn't seen in years, and that I haven't seen since and trying to keep my shit together.
By all accounts I had done well as I went over the day's events. I had spoken at the service and had kept it as formal as possible in order not to break down (one of my biggest regrets ever), I had spoken to and with more people in those 2 hours than I had in an entire month and I had survived some really ugly whatsapp messages from a rather nasty person. I had survived and could pat myself on the back.
A year later apparently that's not the case at all. Since my mom died our family hasn't been particularly close. Not that it ever was but I somehow thought that an event of this magnitude would bring us all together. Well, it didn't. It hasn't. In fact, it seems to have pulled a plaster off of a sore festering wound.
I met up a few weeks back with my brother to try and work things out. We didn't. In fact he said so many things that cut through me then and are still swirling around in my head at the moment. I doubt he'll see this. He told me he had unfriended me on Facebook because he couldn't handle the way I portrayed myself – this caring loving daughter and excellent mother who did no wrong. He also told me he hated the way I put everything out there, for everyone to read…
He raised a lot of things. From me being a shitty sister to being the worst daughter on the planet. He lay into me with an onslaught of words that left me speechless. And thinking. Thinking a lot about myself. My roles. And yup, I probably do suck. Did suck. Will always suck.
But the part where he told me how disrespectful I had allowed Ben to be at my mom's memorial service still hurts. He told me Ben's behavior was shocking but what was unforgivable was my reaction. Or rather lack thereof. To put it into context, the service was at the jhb country club. A small group of us gathered and when we had all left the seated area to go have tea and cake Ben got hold of the mic, which was still on. Next thing we hear "yo yo yo! One two three! One two three!"
I did nothing. I laughed and said my mom was probably giggling too. Apparently it was unacceptable and I should have stepped in. But I was too tired. I didn't think it was the worst thing ever. Apparently I was wrong.
A little later we could hear laughs and giggles and when we looked up ahead we saw Ben and Emma had managed to talk themselves into a golf cart ride and were careening over the slopes with one of the staff. That too was inappropriate and my lack of discipline and inability to control my children had left everyone upset and disgusted.
This has been swirling around in my head. And I am so torn. Did I really disrespect my mom by not controlling my child? Am I truly a bad mother with very little control over them? I sit and wonder if it were happen again tomorrow would I do it differently? To be honest I don't think so. Emma and Ben are kids. They were kids in an adult situation. I let them be because I didn't have the energy to scream and shout at them. But even if I did I don't think I would have done it differently.
But no matter how hard I try I can't get those words out of my head. That I had disrespected my mom. That I had disrespected her memory. That I am an awful mother and I have children who are rude and badly behaved.