The Most Important Part of the Work

  • Learning how to listen more effectively to the many voices out there I the world who can help explain it.
  • Learning how to tell the stories these voices help me uncover.
  • Learning how to be more vulnerable to the unknown as I open myself up to this journey.
  • It’s been an extraordinary thing losing a mother and gaining a daughter in the same year. The death of my mother was a long-expected event. She’d been in poor health for years, and it was only a matter of time before the strains on her body became too much to maintain life. When I visited her last December to say my goodbyes, I knew it was the last time I would see her and made my peace with that. Looking back on her life as I knew her, though, I’m left with a lot to reflect on. My relationship with my mother was never very great. She was a deeply and irreparably narcissistic person. Whether that came down to her own upbringing and her own cold and detached German mother and childhood struggles with parental and sibling attachment as the youngest of nine kids in a small Western Pennsylvania coal country town, or due to a traumatic brain injury she’d suffered as a young child following a car accident after which she nearly died, I don’t know. But she was always incapable of viewing me as separate from herself and my agency as anything other than a reflection of her wishes and identity. While perhaps this is a curse suffered by many a parent to some extent, it took until adulthood to realize that she was incapable of further reflection or understanding in this regard. What resulted was a strained relationship between us starting after I outgrew infancy and the period in which a child can be looked at as an intimate pet, and continuing for the rest of her life. It took me until fairly recently to realize that I had no culpability in this matter. I cannot forgive my mother for this, and frankly, she doesn’t deserve it. She was as she was, whether through forces of nature or nurture, and that’s that. I can only hope not to repeat her mistakes in my own parenting.
  • After a long struggle with infertility, gaining a daughter feels about as epic as the book of Genesis would have one expect. The emotional burrs and brambles of the trauma of prior failures never fully let go of you. They warp the mind, even after you’ve finally succeeded in your endeavors, and make it difficult to settle into the enjoyment of acknowledging that “this time is different, and you have arrived at your destination.” Even now, as I sit writing this and have the ability to look over and see my daughter laying next to me, I have an inkling of the suspicion that she can’t be possible and that this is all an illusion. Nevertheless, the stresses of the first two months of parenting serve frequently to shake me from that feeling. Parenting is a wild experience. A dialogue from the 1989 movie Parenthood — starring Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen — keeps coming to mind. Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) discusses parenthood with his father, Frank Buckman (played by Jason Robards):
  • With America’s summer of painful and cathartic rage — a summer like many another for generations in America — I, like many Black Americans, felt the sting of the pain of generations. The murder of George Floyd — not unique or even very remarkable by any standard — reached out through skins calloused by our long sojourn in the house of blades bequeathed to us by the settler-colonial Xibalba-in-parody that is North America in the 21st century. This — and the events that followed — left us with questions concerning our place in America and what the future holds for us regarding it. But, what is the birthright of a perenially traumatized and uprooted people if not our questions? What is our fate if not to seek knowledge and wisdom as we reconcile our visible selves with the static shadows of “unfinished business” and far too many interrupted narratives? Our burden is to toil after truths that heal, and in so doing, to nurture and grow a better future.

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I write about independence aspirants within rich & developed states. Mostly posting random observations on here. Socials: linktr.ee/SecessioPopuli

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David Nwa'eze

David Nwa'eze

I write about independence aspirants within rich & developed states. Mostly posting random observations on here. Socials: linktr.ee/SecessioPopuli

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