I took a trip to the East Coast last month. While I was there, I saw my parents for the first time in seven years. My sisters (who live several miles from my parents) were not able to come and see me; spend time with my daughter; meet my wife - even though we were in town for three nights, because according to my mother, "They have to work."
It was not a surprise visit. I did not just appear overnight like a mysterious crop circle.
I've been trying to write about that trip for weeks, but the Eve Ensler quote is as far as I've gotten, because I don't really know how to form articulate sentences about my family. How does a person cobble together words that tell that story? How do you breathe life into my peculiar genealogy without some means of self-soothing. . . the consumption of an entire chocolate cake, or a bottle of Jack Daniels? How do you pick up a pen and drag it across white paper leaving a trail of inky blue notes to yourself that say: "I never have to go there again, and that's OK?" How does that not make you a bad person?
There are unspoken rules about family - about what it means to be a daughter. And they require strict compliance, even when the unspoken rules about what it means to be a mother have been broken.
Creating a different legacy with my daughter