Sunday, February 1, 2015

I finally got the answer

It’s not the answer I wanted, but it is the answer that will make me stop asking the question.

What question?

Are you going to visit us?

Over the years, I have asked that question a lot. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment. Maybe I am just hopeful.

My father always answered - Not now. Next year. I have to think about it. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. I can’t sit in the plane like that. (he was a pilot with an active pilot’s license)  I can’t go without your mother.

My response was - You’re not going to live forever.

I guess it is true.I am always right.

My mother always answered - Maybe later. When the weather gets better. Next year. I don’t know. I’m too old. I can’t sit in the plane. I’ll think about it.

I’m a parent. I know what “I’ll think about it” means. It means no. But I kept asking, hoping to hear a different answer. Something that would convince me that my parents really couldn’t visit us, not that they just didn’t want to visit us. That they didn’t want to see us or their grandchildren, see how we live, where their grandchildren go to school. It was just too awful. I had to keep asking because there had to be a reason.

My mother said that after she gets all the formalities of my father’s death taken care of, she just needs a short change of scenery. I invited her here complete with an offer to go there and fly back with her here.

Her answer, “It’s just not worth it”. No, not that it is not worth it for me to fly there just to fly back with her. No, no. “It is not worth it to be uncomfortable on the plane,” is the full answer. Too bad the “it” is us, her daughter, her grandchildren. We are not worth it. That’s a fact. I got my answer.


czarownica said...

Same here, with only 2-hour flight to/from Poland.
Got used to it and not letting it upset me any more, not worth it :)

anka skakanka said...

Shame :(
My mum comes often, but to get my sister to visit I'd have to pay for her whole family as there's always more important things than visiting me.

anka skakanka said...

Shame :(
My mum comes often, but to get my sister to visit I'd have to pay for her whole family as there's always more important things than visiting me.

ds said...

so sorry for you Chris :(

Stardust said...

I don't know what to say. I have heard that before. My father died three months after I came to US, that left my mother alone. She came once, and then "it was not worth it"
I never asked again, and then she died. I guess they had different priorities.
The only thing I can advice you is try not to think about, don't analyze - is not worth it.
You like me, we have our families where we live, these are the families we are responsible for.
Parents, siblings are not in our control circle.
I know it hurts, but we have to cope with the pain and let it go.

Northern.Sky said...

I don't want to make excuses for her, but maybe after your dad died it's her thinking these days, about a lot of things. Not worth it. Maybe with time she will realize it's actually the only thing that is worth anything.
Still it's quite depressing;( Can't really think of anything clever to say.

Chris said...

Thanks all for your kind words and advice. I think I just needed to write about it in order to finally put it behind me.

czarownica said...

Czas nas uczy pogody :)

Anonymous said...


I am not sharing this to enter into any kind of arguments or anything. Your post just makes me reflect on my own life. I suppose that this is why I believe in God. Because, when to the entire--even my parents--I am not worth it, at least to Someone I am worth it. Worth it enough to die on a cross.

Chris said...

I take comfort in the fact that I am a different mother to my children, not better or worse, just very different when it comes to closeness, support, affection.

As you may have gathered I do not believe in god as an entity at all, so I even less believe in a particular religion's expresion of god. But your belief is yours to hold dear. If your belief gives you comfort that is all the matters.

Iwona A. said...

I am sorry, I sympathize with you completely... I have the same with my mother. Excuses, excuses...

Izabela said...

I'm sorry. I have the same with my father.... it's his choice but it hurts.

Chris said...

I never thought that I was a "misery loves company" kind of a girl, but it turns out I am. I feel better knowing that I am not the only person experiencing something like this. Thanks :)

Dorota Donigiewicz said...

it's a shame...take care Chris.sending you some good thoughts and positivity from hong kong :) :)

Chris said...

Thanks Dorota. Hong Kong!? Amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is Dorota in Colorado... I had a Polish friend, Jolka, who lived in Denver. She was married to an American, had a 7 year old daughter. She begged and begged her parents to visit. Offered to pay for the tickets. Created a special guest suite in her basement just for them. They had all kinds of excuses. It's a hassle to get visas, we don't like flying, it'll be too hard on our health, etc etc. Everyone knew they simply were afraid... uncomforatable with her decision to live in the US. One day Jolka went to sleep - and never woke up. She died, at age 36, of unknown causes. Her parents flew to Colorado a few days later. When I picked them up at the airport ,her father sobbed "I will never forgive myself for not coming to visit... I can't believe she had to die for me to see her home."

Sigh. You only live once. Some chances don't come around again. Carpe diem, while you can -- and while your loved ones are around.

Chris said...

Very well said Dorota. What a tragic story.

I suspect that even in such a tragedy, the situation in our family wouldn't change a bit.

So I am taking your advice and trying to get the most out of this like, no regrets, no looking back.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that.
Your parents are just bad people.
Try not to dwell on that.

alpineblue said...

A Polish girl living in Boston here. I so feel for you! I'm about to graduate in May and have been asking my mother to come over to see the commencement since last year. It's a huge deal for me and something I've worked hard for for years. I offered to pay the tickets (from my humble grad student scholarship and a summer internship) and go to Poland to make her travel more comfortable. What I heard back was "Oh, maybe next year. I want to change the roof on the house this summer".

Chris said...

What a great achievement. Congratulations. So we can see it's not an American thing or a Polish thing. It's a some parents thing. I wish you all the best in convincing her. My story and Dorota's friend's story above and countless others only solidify for me that I have to live for today. A second congrats to you on surviving the New England winter ;)