As with my last post, this one is in the present, rather than the past. But as with the saga of Charles and a grandson, this reflection today is one which has been an integral part of Jalene’s life. Mother’s Day can be joyful or melancholy. Yet, it is inevitable. Each of us have mothers in one way or another. We may not all have mothers we know or have shared memories with, but we all know we had a biological mother.
Jalene’s mother was one whom had no earnest desire to have children, so memories of her were not happy ones. Jayne was angry for as long as long as Jalene could recall. Jalene longed for the day she would become a mother, so she could give the love to her children which she had never received from her own mother.
Jalene’s ex husband, Charles’ desire was not as great as Jalene’s for children, but he agreed to have no more than two. Jalene’s heart was filled with joy when she gave birth to her daughter Marie and less than 2 years later, her son, Christopher (aka Chris). Her family was complete and her life full.
She could not have loved her children any more than she did. Every holiday, birthday and special day was an event to be celebrated with jubilance and happy memories. Even though Charles mandated that Jalene work outside the home, she always sought jobs which would allow flexibility for her children.
She was always a home room mother, Camp Fire and Boy Scout leader. Wherever there was a need for a parent volunteer, Jalene wanted to fulfill that role for not only her children, but for those whose parents were unable to participate. Jalene’s young life had been void of not only parental interaction, but of many childhood memories as she desired for her children.
Jalene looked forward to hosting parties and sleepovers for each of her two children. When Chris had a golf or debate tournament, Jalene took time off work to not only drive him to the tournament but be a volunteer parent for the event. This was repeated with musical events for Marie.
The day arrived when such celebrations or extracurricular activities were no longer of interest to Marie and Chris. It was a sorrowful day for Jalene as she realized they were maturing and soon would be leaving home to have their own life and family.
As Marie and Chris graduated from high school, Charles insisted on giving each of them a gift of a complete “ride” on their college education. Charles believed such an entrance into the career world would not only enable them to begin their adult lives debt free, but also would empower them to be considered for some of the best jobs in their careers if they had the time to devote to their studies and gradaute with higher GPA’s. Charles and Jalene had each worked multiple jobs to earn their way through college and he wanted his children to be provided with greater opportunities.
Jalene always believed that wherever life took each of her children they would maintain close family ties. As they had always been “her life”, she trusted she would be included in a part of theirs.
Before Chris graduated with his UG degree, he began pushing his family from his life, but not completely until he had received the monetary gift of his college education. Almost as suddenly as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma and discard his cap and gown, so too did he discard his parents and sister from his life. Christopher graduated as the top student in his law school graduating class; providing an array of affluence and prestige for him and his future family.
However, there was never a word of appreciation nor a mention of all the years of sacrifice which Jalene and Charles made to provide such an opportunity to Chris. The monetary sacrifices made for Chris had also been felt by Marie. There were no family vacations or frequent family visits to restaurants or special events. Chris’s debate trips and camps had been extremely costly. Expenses for him negated other family opportunities.
Christopher’s excitement could hardly be maintained as he walked into the world of privilege and wealth which awaited him. However, within weeks, Jalene realized it was she, Chris was dismissing totally from his life. With each passing month, Chris’ hatred toward Jalene became greater. During his betrothal to Kristina, Jalene’s pleas to meet his future in-laws were rejected. Countless offers for a family hosted meal or meeting in a restaurant were refused.
Jalene and Charles never met Kristina’s parents until the day of the wedding. This would be the beginning of a long and painful estrangement with Chris. Jalene made countless supplications to Chris to meet or merely discuss his estrangement toward her. He was always emphatic. He had no desire to meet with her for he had never liked her. It is typical for many young children to extol they dislike their parents. Normally, adulthood provides a more enlightened perspective of their parents. This never occurred with Chris.
Jalene’s appeals for an understanding of what she had done, what she could do to change her behavior or what apologizes were required were always repudiated. Chris’ sole desire was to be estranged from Jalene and that is how it would remain for the next 22 years.
Chris’ daughters have never been a part of Jalene’s life. Thus, as each Mother’s Day approaches, Jalene apprehends the day. She knows her memories are from 22 years prior when Christopher was a young man preparing to enter a new world; his own world, void of his parents and the memories of his youth, void of any future memories with his family. More importantly are the sorrows Jalene has with the memories of the young son she prayed for and loved so deeply, but now with a son whose heart is filled with so much hatred for her.
Please join me for future and past blogs of Jalene’s journey of her past and how the journey has brought her to the present.