CHAPTER 13 Baggage From The Past

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

The next morning I called my Parents.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey. Well, Susie called last night right after dinner," Dad said.

"How did that go?"

"Not well," Dad replied.

"Shit. What happened?"

"Well, she started asking Your Mother a bunch of questions that Your Mother didn't know how to answer."

My stomach fell out of my body. I watched it writhe on the floor in front of me. It was going to stain the carpet but luckily I hadn't eaten. I was disgusted by the sight.

Dad continued, "And you know Your Mother is under a lot of stress and her memory isn't all that great."

"It must have been like arguing with a child," I thought.

I could only imagine how Mom must have felt. I likened it to being thrust in front of the Spanish Inquisition. Poor Mom wasn't prepared.

"Your Mother also told Susie that I'm the Walt Disney of the 21st Century," Dad said

You could say a lot of things about my Mom and her problems if that's all you focused on. But for all my Mom's issues, she loved, supported, and believed in my Dad. Not every couple can say that about their partner. Mom wasn't an idiot. She didn't do it blindly. She sincerely believed in him, as he did in her. It was a rare quality that I always found amazing about their relationship.

I had watched on the sidelines of my Parents relationship for years. I was probably the closest person to them, as a couple and individually. I knew more about their relationship than I wanted to. And I'd heard the stories and had seem them go through some of life's shit storm. But their love had always prevailed and endured, no matter what came against them, including a brief divorce.

"Damn. Susie must have loved that," I said.

"Yeah, it was pretty bad."

I wasn't surprised that Susie wasn't in the least bit impressed or moved by my Mom's declaration. It was not the kind of statement that was going to convince a person like Susie of anything. Now if Dad had a bank account full of money and been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine, then maybe Susie would be interested in Mom's declaration.

"Do you think Susie is upset about the money Mom borrowed a few years and never paid back?" I asked.

"Maybe. But if she is, she didn't bring it up," Dad said.

"Wow. Okay."

"I finally had to get on the phone and give Susie the down and dirty and help bail Your Mother out. Susie wanted a detailed synopsis of how much money would be needed, and the breakdown of specifically where it would be going. She told me to fax to her so she could go over it and make a decision," Dad said.

"Well, so she didn't say no outright," I said.

"No she didn't. So we put together the details she asked for and faxed it to her this morning," Dad said.

"Okay. So how did the rest of the conversation go?"

"Well, not so good. She went after Your Mother and I don't know how helpful that was. I told Susie I took full responsibility for where we are financially and that Your Mother wasn't to blame. But she didn't seem to care about that. She had a laser beam on Your Mother. I guess Susie is upset with Your Mother about a few things, some antiques and jewelry, from the past. And feels she's been mistreated by Your Mother too," Dad said.

"Seriously? Does Mom even remember any of that shit?" I asked.

"No," Dad said.

"Jesus. So she laid into Mom and Mom with her memory issues, had no clue what she was talking about?"

"Yep," Dad said.

I could feel the tingle of anger surging in my gut.

Why go after Mom now?

As if verbally assaulting a woman who is currently laid out on the ground because her world is falling apart is going to resolve anything. I don't know. I would think perhaps compassion and some sensitivity were in order. But it sounded like that was too much to hope for given Susie's outlook on things.

"How far do the issues go back?" I asked.

"Some of it a long time. We're talking twenty to thirty years or more."

"So she's been carrying all these issues around and she picked now, to unload on Mom?"

"Yes. It got pretty bad on the phone, I tried to play mediator but I'm not sure it did much good," Dad said.

I shook my head in disbelief. Jesus. And who gives a fuck about the jewelry and antiques. We were losing our fucking home!

"I guess Susie felt that Your Mother had taken things from her that Susie felt were rightfully hers. And because Your Mother never offered to share them with Susie, Susie is upset."

"So, Mom got some china or something and because Mom got it to begin with AND never shared with Susie, Susie is upset with Mom?"

"That's what it sounded like to me," Dad said.

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Yes," Dad said.

My mind went blank. I had no answers or that to that type of thinking. It boggled me that people actually operated their lives like that.

I imagine the reality was, the ill feelings had nothing to do with the stuff. I imagine the wounds ran a lot deeper than mere stuff. What exactly, I didn't know. But it wasn't about stuff. That was just the surface issue. The real issue was somewhere buried in the past of their relationship. Maybe it was within their own self-worth and belief systems. But fuck me if it wasn't this side of fucked up to be roasting Mom over the coals about all of

"Susie was pretty upset," Dad said.

"I wonder if it's the property being at risk, or being asked for help by Mom, or us being in the situation as a whole."

"I don't know. Maybe all of the above," Dad said.

"So how do you guys feel this morning?" I asked him.

"Neither of us slept well last night. We're feeling a little like we were verbally roasted over the phone. It felt like a lot of judgment, more so directed at Your Mother. I kept telling Susie it was all because of me and it wasn't Your Mother's fault."

Susie said that while she thought my Dad had vision, she never saw the economy in it. She would be right, up to this point in time. We had been unable to create an economy from our Dreams. But that didn't mean it was impossible.

The conversation ended with a final retort of "You're no Bill Gates," from Susie.

I don't know how you can try to have a relationship or mend fences when the individual/s you're attempting to have a relationship with is carrying around years of baggage. I certainly knew my Mom was carrying her share of baggage that needed to be cleaned out for her own well-being.

I didn't know what the future would bring. I hoped it hadn't sealed the fate of any reconciliation between Susie and my Mom. I hoped at some point, they could both put the past behind them. I wouldn't be holding my breath for it though.

"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven."

George Herbert

British Metaphysical Poet


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