That morning is planted in my mind as if it had been today’s. I remember it often, usually with great hurt. Sometimes, I can’t help but cry; there’s still inside me a little nine year old who cannot understand.

I was talking to my grandmother today, and we got into an argument over my mom and my brother (nothing new there since lately). But just like last week I got mad about my mother attitude and yelled at my father because of it (I still think it’s mostly his fault), this week it all went back to him. Matter of fact is that it is all mostly his fault. He has been dead for fourteen years, and yet he is still in my mother’s life as if he had never gone. What can I say? She loved him too much.

I loved my father more than life itself. I loved him more than I loved my mother; he was my father. But I have been mourning my mother for fourteen years, and she’s not yet dead. He died, and she left. But she’s still here. So, every time that she says something, I hear how angry she is at him. And every time, she looks at me I wonder what she sees. I am 23, and but she’s still 34. Fourteen years have passed for me, but she’s never moved on.

So, I understand clearly. We all make our choices; some make better ones than others. My mother chose to live her life for him, and he left irrevocably. Then she chose to leave with him. I can’t blame her; I have an innate fear of abandonment (mostly due to his death). I have moved on, and fought very hard to get to where I am – almost all on my own. And I have been lucky; I had my grandma and grandpa and my aunts and uncles – and I couldn’t have asked for a better father than my grandfather and uncles have been for me. Yet, my mother is another story.

I am not mad or resentful. I am just hurting. I am just tired. And I am disappointed.

The biggest reason for my disappointment is that I am 23, yet I am not. I try so hard to be like everyone else my age; yet I am always unsuccessful. That is not who I am. What I have realized most 20-somethings want is nowhere on my list. I don’t care to party or drink, or go on one-too-many dates; I don’t care for an ever-growin career and fame and fortune, or to network my brains out. I don’t have a list of the 1000 things I’d like to do before I’m 30; matter of fact, there aren’t that many things that I want to do in the rest of my life. I just want to be happy, and settle in a life of which I can be proud. So, I am upset because I couldn’t be a child, and I couldn’t be a teenager, and I just can’t be like everyone else. That’s my life; I accept it and live with it.

So, I have been making a big deal about decision-making. That’s mostly because I have one-too-many decisions to make in a short period of time. That is also because for once I have given my mother the place in my life she requested, and she has yet again failed to fill the spot. All I ask of her in exchange for this is a little support (just that she be my cheerleader; that she at least be glad for me), yet instead all I find is opposition. I can’t accept that from her, or anyone who wants a place in my life. You are either rooting for me, or you’re outta here (against me or not at all is not an option; people like that only take from you, and nobody needs that).

So, I am 23; and for well over 14 years I have been making my own decisions. I will make my decisions on my own again; like it whoever does, or not. If they’ll take me, I’m going to Law School in the fall. And I have no intention of actually practicing law. Thus has been decreed.