I find it amazing how I dreaded going home for Thanksgiving. I agonized, whined and posted about how I didn’t want to go and how I wouldn’t be able to do anything blah blah blah….
I’m back in NYC now. I made it through Thanksgiving safe and sound. I was perfectly polite to everyone, there were no arguments and my mom was wonderful. There weren’t even that many prayers… Bottom line? I’m suffering some pretty heavy guilt right now.
It’s a familiar guilt. The same guilt I always feel after a visit home. I feel guilty for leaving my mom behind. I feel guilty for having a good life when my mom is still stuck in the Morg universe with a shitty priesthood holder for a husband and none of her brood of children nearby. Isn’t that the Mormon promise? Get married in the temple, have a bunch of kids and you’ll be happy for ETERNITY? In my mom’s case this is entirely untrue. And yet, she still believes.
My guilt isn’t about not being in the church or not believing anymore. It’s more about the fact that in SPITE of those things I have a great life. It’s as if my very existence proves my mom wrong in every choice she has ever made.
And I know the guilt goes both ways. My mom is crippled with guilt over the choices she made, the man she married, the life she chose in relation to how it affected me as a child. I’d like to think our guilt cancels each others out, but I think it may not be possible.
I read the best piece of graffiti a few months back and I thought of it on the plane home and how it so perfectly applies to my state of mind as the holidays come and go this year:
“Gird your loins Jive Turkey”