April 13, 2011
There are three things my mom loved watching on TV: Princess Diana, the OJ Simpson trial and Roseanne.
When the OJ Simpson trial was on, I would come home from school and she’d be sitting on the edge of the couch, completely engrossed in the “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” trial drama. If she wasn’t watching that, she’d be talking my ear off explaining who had testified, what part of their testimony was bunk, and why OJ Simpson should absolutely go to jail for life.
Those three things may seem like an odd combo, but the older I get, the better I understand her. My memories of her may have faded because I lost her as a child, but something inside has shifted. A part of me that has always felt broken, isn’t in so many pieces any more. As a woman and mother, the threads of unconditional love and pride in our children is the same. In becoming a mother, I found her all over again.
I know now that what she recognized in Princess Diana was a strong woman in a falling marriage. She was Nicole Brown — the abused and wronged wife. In Roseanne the awkward, outcasted and outspoken woman. The things she said and did…the things I didn’t agree with and didn’t understand…they have a new meaning.
Because my mom was a passionate woman, the things she believed in, she really believed in. I see now that I got my fire from her. I used to think that I wanted to be nothing like her. Cause for a long time I was very angry with her. But as that anger has faded, I recognize her spunk isn’t the only thing I inherited. I may be slightly less obsessed with the Royal Family than she was, but it’s still unnatural!
Believe it or not, this post was actually inspired by the royal wedding. I know, I know, enough about the royal wedding already. But I get melancholy around this time of year. And in my melancholy, I found myself excited and sad at the thought of Prince William getting married.
It all started back in 1997. My mom had just passed away in May of that year. And it wasn’t until I went back to school in September that I heard the news. I was walking down the hall of the older section of our school, called the dungeon, I overheard someone say, “It’s so sad, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa both dead. Two great women gone.”
And I thought to myself, ‘One more. My mom too.’ I felt so alone. I didn’t want to comprehend what kind of world it’d be without those women in it.
Then I went home and saw the pictures of Prince William and Prince Harry at their mother’s funeral. My grief was consuming, the loss still too raw and real. I knew what they were going through completely. It felt like my mother had died all over again.
In their grief and mine, an invisible bond linked them to me. I especially felt a connection to Prince William because we were so close in age. Over the years, if I saw him in the paper or on the news, I would wonder what his life was like now. How he felt when he graduated high school without her there. If his birthdays had finally started to feel like a celebration. Or were they still a reminder that the woman who had brought him into existence that very day, was now gone?
But now we’re both all grown up. And he’s getting married. He seems to have grown into a very nice man. I think his mom would be proud of him. Like I know mine is of me.
I know it’s cheesy and many people are tired of hearing about it, but you know where I’ll be on April 29th. Where will you be? Watching or avoiding?