life lessons from mom

We’ve all let that one thing slip from our lips we wish we hadn’t. Well, here’s a story about the time I told my mom I wished she would just fucking die.

It was an excruciatingly hot summer night in Redding, Connecticut. The kind of sticky summer night where the air climbs into every pore of your skin and makes you question whether you accidentally combed your hair with a glue stick. It was not pleasant, to say the least.

My mom and I were making dinner, a huge spread of fresh veggies from our garden and mozzarella, when things got heated. Maybe it was the temperature, or even the humidity, but the situation escalated quickly.

She didn’t like my tone, I didn’t want to listen to what she was saying. She was “momming” me too much, I was being disrespectful.

I can’t actually remember what we were fighting about — it was probably something really dumb like me refusing to load the dishwasher or my mom making a somewhat judgmental comment— but what I do remember was my 17-year-old self screaming at the top of my lungs, “I WISH YOU WOULD JUST FUCKING DIE!”

And that was it, I was sent to my room.

I don’t know if you’ve ever said anything like that to your mom, but if you have, I bet you didn’t really think about it. Of course you wouldn’t wish your mother was dead. I mean, what an absurd wish to bestow upon the woman who brought you to life.

But that’s what I did. I told my mom I wish she’d leave. Forever. And in that moment, I barely even noticed it.

Now, here’s just a little bit of inside information before I unleash my epiphany:

My mom and I are both very agreeable and go with the flow people. That is until both our mouths explode like volcanoes, spewing violent lava-soaked words all up in each others’ ears. Typically, our relationship is cyclical. We have amazing weeks when we’re best friends and do everything together. But then one day, we’ll both decide to get on each other’s nerves. Cue the lava.

But, because we have such a strong and close relationship — as in I tell my mom everything, from what’s happening in my sex life, to what I don’t like about myself, to terrible decisions I make  — we often fight and makeup within a matter of minutes. Seriously, we’re usually holding hands and hugging 10 to 15 minutes after the catastrophic explosion.

But this time was different. We didn’t talk until the next day.

The thing about telling your mom you wish she would just fucking die, is that your own words kind of shock you. I remember sitting on my bed thinking holy shit Anthea, what the fuck did you just say? I was horrified that the insidious thought was even in my head. Especially in response to her requesting I do something I probably just needed to do, like be grateful or empty the damn dishwasher. I was surprised at my reaction and quite honestly, ashamed. I didn’t know how to move forward.

The other thing about telling your mom you wished she’d just fucking die, is that it’s just completely and totally, down right unacceptable. I wished I had never said it, and that I could take it back. But I could not.

The last thing about telling your mom you wished she’d just fucking die is that the thought consumes your mind. It makes you think about what that life would actually be like. At least that’s what happened to me.

I realized there would be no more mother-daughter walks. No more of my mom stopping and exclaiming “AH, OH MY GOSH ANTHEA,” scaring me half to death, only to make a comment about how blue the sky was or how pink that flower was (my mother is an artist).

There would be no more conversations where we would both end up on our red carpet laughing so hard we cry and scream “owwww,” from our cramping stomachs (very painful experience actually).

There would be no more early-morning hugs when we both find ourselves awake at 6am on a Sunday.

There would be no more “I love you’s” that were frequent, but always meaningful and genuine.

There would be no more crying together when watching a sad movie or feeling so incredibly happy for one another that we’d find tears pouring down our cheeks.

Beauty, laughter, warmth, love, sadness and happiness would never be as pure or as real again. Because my mother is the purest, realist version of all of those things.

She is the one who taught me how to really see beauty. How to wholeheartedly (and bodily) laugh. How to share warmth. How to truly love. How to thoughtfully let sadness flow. How to openly welcome happiness in.

She is who I am. Without her, well, I really don’t know what would happen.

So mom, even though I still apologize to you about this, please never fucking die. Because then I might just fucking die, too.

life lessons from mom

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