I called her "Andee", her first name. Even though she requested it from time to time, I never called her "Mom". If I wrote to her when I was traveling, I would sign my letters "Love, Laurence" or "All the Best, Laurence". I never signed "I Love You, Laurence". The formality was appropriate to the space of our relationship.
Whenever we did speak, she seemed to misinterpret so much about me that I couldn't respond to and wasn't willing to respond to. I never told her I wasn't willing to respond to being misinterpreted. I was disempowered by not being totally gotten by my mother. But the apparent alternative (to fight to be correctly interpreted) seemed to be the worse of the two evils, so I didn't deal with her at all on that level. I had no urgent calling nor pressing urgency to complete it with her. The Zen of it was our relationship was the way it was. I stayed in the status quo. It was OK with me.
My father Asher Manfred and I, however, had a completely different relationship. There was nothing left unspoken between us. The completion and the love between us was rich and full. Inspired by that, it slowly began to dawn on me that a similar completion was possible with my mother too. And so I set out to make it happen, yet I had no inkling of where to start. I looked for something I could take responsibility for.
Not knowing where to start, I started in the middle. I told my mother I had been covert by not making it clear to her I was unwilling to be misinterpreted. I apologized to her for not making it clear to her. By not making it clear to her, I left her with no choice in the matter of how she could be with me. I told her I took full responsibility for the condition of our relationship. I said she didn't have to take any responsibility for the condition of our relationship, tainted as it was by me being covert.
I do feel close to you, Lar (her term of endearment for me), as close as I felt to Dad and as close as I feel to Anthea (my sister) and Bang (her term of endearment for my brother, Brandon).
I regret very much that the last two visits of yours here did not allow the two of us to have a talk - as we once did in a coffee shop in Napa (Napa Valley in California where I live). I will always remember that hour or more as a rare occasion. I spoke to Alexandra, Christian, and Joshua (my three children). I noted how composed they were, and I know that greatness will be theirs, in life and in happiness.
The photograph of you on the fifteenth anniversary of your marriage certainly shows how happy you are and how much love you share. I enjoyed the Christmas messages from you.
I Love You, Lar. I always have loved you, and always will. I know how difficult I have been, and I have worked very hard to change that. I love you, I always have and always will.
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