The dark blue card on the dresser was beginning to look crappy. Its been a while since dad sent it, I think the Christmas of 2013, its been 2 years now and I haven’t been home ever since I found out my dad was cheating on my mom. Ma knew though, Ma always knew but she would always want to play the fool, but not this time, this time was different. The divorce papers came as a shock to dad who for a while felt estranged to ma. She was travelling a lot, trying to get her life together. Ma is strong, Ma is a strong woman, Ma could be a man because Ma could take care of everything, Ma could perform the duties a man could as the breadwinner of the home, Ma is strong.
She decided to move out because she knew if she stayed she would be constantly reminded of him, they have lived there for over 15 years now and though the house was big and beautiful, it didn’t feel like home anymore and for me it didn’t feel like home before 2013, it didn’t feel like home for the longest time, I hadn’t seen any of my siblings since they all moved away before I did, every now and then I would miss them. I miss Ma also, I wish I never left so abruptly, wish I was there to support her. Even the strong ones need a hug and a timely “its going to be alright talk”.
Looking at the card only made me feel more hatred for dad, I still don’t know why I left it there. I always thought about how he could have chosen a better color for a festive card and how annoying his handwriting was…bending like they would soon fall, joined like they were holding on for dear life. After years of feeling hatred towards him, I felt nothing, not even pity, so void of emotion.
Ma calls from time to time, but I barely have words for her, she would always ask me “how are things” then fill me in on what has been going on in her life and would always want to know what city I’ve moved to or something of that sort and most times she would throw in the occasional “can I come visit?” which was always followed by a long silence on my end and she would say “just checking in” and I would sometimes feel a stab in my heart when I hear the end tone. I wanted to tell her more but I didn’t know how, we’ve never had that sort of relationship.
Ma moved to another state, she always said she was doing well on the phone, that she lived in a duplex (one of her many houses she built over the years) and it was still quite empty because she felt alone. It was moments like that I felt for her.
I admire Ma, Ma is strong with a heart of gold. Ma could weather a thousand storms.