The One Not Seen in the Mirror

My husband and I have a son. He is grown now. He is married and has children. He lives far away now, but when my husband first got sick he lived about 2 and 1/2 hours from the hospital my husband was in. I have not mentioned him, not out of any reason to hide him, rather it seems he is no longer part of my life.

Several years ago, when my husband had his defibrillator surgically inserted, it was considered a serious operation, as my husband was born with an abnormal heart. My husband was in the hospital for 3 weeks for the surgery, was released and was back in the hospital 1 week later for 2 weeks to try a new medication. During that time, our son worked on the road and traveled a lot. He drove past where the exit to the hospital was (it was a 5 minute drive from the exit to the hospital) many times and he never stopped to visit him. We understood, he was trying to make a good living and it was hard to stop after driving for many hours for a short time then have to drive another 2 and 1/2 hours. No one in our family understood. But my husband and I did.

When my husband became sick, our son came to visit often. It was a long ride, he would only be able to stay for a half hour and return home, as he was not traveling with his job any more and had to wake up early for work. When my husband was moved to rehab, he came to visit. He built a ramp so my husband would be able to get into the house. He seemed to be there for me, the times he was around. When he was not around he would call to see if I were doing okay and to check on his father. When we were told my husband did not have long to live (not when he had to go to Hospice, but a few months before), he called to tell me he had not been a very good son to me and he was sorry. He told me he wanted to be there for me if and when his father died.

He flew up to his father’s funeral. He gave an excellent eulogy. There was hardly a dry eye there. He broke down after the eulogy. I was there for him and he was there for me. It was tough to bury someone so young, my husband, his father. He flew home to where he lives, I flew home to where I live. In the first few weeks he called at least once a week. He asked if I was doing okay. I was always afraid to ask him if all was okay with him and his family, as he seemed to always need something or something was wrong. Family started emailing and calling to tell me that my son was in constant contact with them which they found odd after years of him not wanting anything to do with them. They told me he had told them that his father wanted him to be closer to them. They felt he was trying to manipulate them, get money out of them. I know how he manipulates for money as I have mentioned in a past post of someone always looking for money. Yet, I felt he was honestly trying to reach out and be a better family member. I told them so. Soon they were giving him money. About that time his calls stopped.

He last called on January 1st at 2 a.m. I text messaged him on January 31st as it was his anniversary. I did not want to call, as when I call it is always at a bad time I am told. After my text, I got a text from him saying he would call when he got home, that he was working. He never called, there were no more texts. I have emailed him several times, he has not replied to any email. I can only assume when the ATM closed he had no use for me. Which is sad.

Was I a good mother? Only he can answer that. I can say I took him to every baseball, basketball, football, bowling and every other sport or activity he was in. Some were an hour or more drive away. I never complained, I sat in the stands and cheered for him. I took him to movies on the day they opened. I bought him anything he wanted. I did a lot for him. But that does not make me a good mother. I think I was. I could go on to list all the things my husband never did with him that father’s normally do, but this is not about their relationship, it is about ours. Each person has their own feelings about what a parent should be. Maybe in his eyes I was not a good mother. I do know that every family member has said I went above and beyond what most parents would do for their child. They do not know he has not called or emailed or sent a text message.

It is sad to think that he has not made any effort to contact me. As I mentioned we live very far away. I could have become very ill or died and he would not know. I know he is alive from the family that email me of their sending money to him. I would like to say that it does not hurt that he has not made any contact with me, but that is not true. While I like to think of myself as someone who does not get hurt easily, this hurts. He is after all, my son. The one person who I would have thought would always be there for me, if only just to listen.

So on a sad night when I miss my husband so much, I am left sitting here thinking of our son and how he is no longer in contact with me. How maybe if he emailed, I do not need phone calls, an email might bring me some cheer or happiness. Or maybe just a little understanding. As it stands now I have no idea why he stopped calling other than that I am no longer his ATM. If that is all I have ever been to him it is even sadder. I have given most of my life to raise him, what was left was given to my husband to keep him alive. Now I am left with a life. Nothing else, just a life. Alone.