I had a run in with my mother tonight when I had a flu and gastric and did not attend my cell group fellowship. I was overwhelmed with irritation that she did not trust me to make my own choices as an adult, and she was overwhelmed with disappointment and worry that I was well, slipping away.
It is more than that, really. My life is slipping away from my own fingers and I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. Perhaps that is the source and stem of my annoyance. I have been putting on weight because of our irregular eating and sleeping hours, and my awful binging habits. It is a shame my de-stressor mechanism involves indulging in food. Emotional empathy has been hard to establish because I think I automatically maintain a cordial distance from everyone, even the brothers and sisters at church. Except my colleagues in school of course, I am beginning to suspect I have the mental bandwidth only to focus on one group of friends at any one time in my life. (gasp.)
A few days ago as I sat next to my mother I noticed that she was shrinking in size. Her bones seemed smaller and she no longer seemed round and robust with energy. She seemed to move around the house with a certain sense of lethargy but contentment with her lot. I think she is getting older. I realised I need to stop living in this fantasy where we are still the babies and she is still the young and energetic supermum who singlehandedly raised four children through adolescence into adulthood. It is time we reversed the roles and took care of her instead.
I also compare myself in 2014 with photographs of myself in 2010 or 2011, four or five years ago. A time that seemed far away but still within grasp of my memory. I looked youthful, radiant and happy. Tired, but happy to be with friends. I knew the time of kairos was always rewarding and a blessing. Today, give me a take-out meal and I would gladly confine myself to my room with my laptop or a book while the rest of the world drifts away.
I also think about my future husband, if any, of course. And how ugly I am. Ugly not just in terms of the physical, but also the heart and mind. I feel so ugly I don’t think anyone could ever love and accept me the way I am, actually.
Maybe this is why I made my mother cry; I made her sad.