It was no accident I stopped speaking to my mom four years ago almost to the day of my birthday- June 11th. One more fight didn’t “bring me there” nor were harsh words splattered between us, like the tomato sauce in my mothers cookbooks. All I had to do was stop calling her. Very plain. Quiet. Simple. Brilliantly undramatic and really a creative solution I thought.
It’s design was brilliant simple because my mom NEVER called me. She never wanted to chat or find out what was up with me. There were no lunches, no get your hair done together days. A shopping experience perhaps here and there to dress me up pretty and for her to find another $500.00+ purse or four new pairs of sparkling high heels. I remember my mom trying on a pant suit once that was $2500.00 and she asked me if I thought she would wear it. No the hope of A REAL relationship with my mother, had long ago gone.
It’s all been sorted, sifted, cried over, and ladled with a heavy cream sauce of guilt LONG before now. No, indeed it was finally over. Finally, I managed to button it down four years ago almost to the day– nice and tight for a LONG winters sleep, my relationship with my mom.
And this week finally I get to bury her. What remains of her is now figuratively and literally dust. This week feels like an all time record life high actually. It feels like the EXTREME opposite of loss, which for me is foreign and in itself quite shocking. So shocking all I can seem to do is sit “shiva” and realize the destruction phase is over and the transformation phase has launched.
How could I not feel this way if you think about it? The ONLY WAY my my highest purpose and best use could ever be present during my time on this earth was to find a way to remain sane and hopeful of what the possibilities in life WERE for me.
I had strategically come to know that if I really wanted my creativity to grow to the point that I was TRULY ABLE to MAKE the difference I believe I was put on his earth to make, I had to orchestrate a strategic plan to out root and destroy all toxicity in my life once and for all. And that certainly had to begin with my mother.
Frankly, I am really proud of how well and carefully I did it and how masterfully I have come through it. I have learned so much from life with mom and used it so wisely to rise well above it. And yet, the harshest part of it all for me is that my mom hated me THAT MUCH more for finding ways to replace her and HEAL the pain she caused. The better I got at doing it the more creative and clever her infliction of pain became.
And I decided long ago to use her pain and dysfunction to free me. I learned how to be down right creative, entrepreneurial, artistic and PEACE FILLED ( eventually) in how I learned to respond to her actions, no matter how horrible, or low the blow. I am so proud of who I am, REALLY, and how strong I am and how well I see INTO MYSELF and others. My mother- she TRULY has blessed me. But trust me, NOT in the ways I ever thought or imagined a mother could or should.
Yes my mom is dead. The mass and funeral are on Friday. 10 am at John Continious Catholic Church 825 N Carpenter, Chicago and 1pm graveside at Evergreen Cemetery, 3401 W. 87th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805. phone: 708-422-9051. Section: Fairmont / Lot 46 / Part 6 / Grave 26. My mother will be buried next to my father and I pray she is NOW FINALLY overcome with joy and peace.
For most of us the grieving process starts at death. But not for me. It started in earnest when I was 13.
My parents threw a Christmas Party every year at our house for family and friends. Like so many times before, my mother had knocked herself out. Her buffet table was tantalizing, the flower arrangements so fragrant and full they competed for attention from room to room. And then there was my mother dressed to the 9’s embarrassing the hell out of me in front of my Uncle Marvin. “Lisa Alexandra Argiris are you even HERE and FULLY PRESENT and LISTENING? You just live in a world ALL your own, don’t you now?”
My mother was, as usual, making an ass out of herself. Dressed in Chanel, dripping in diamonds and slurring her barb wired bitter words at me was a routine occurrence. And yet, she was right. It was hard for me to want to listen to her anymore because of the way she treated me.
But for some reason before I could lower my self-esteem a little more and utter some form of cordial attempt at a reply, I heard a voice. A clear and convincing voice that said to me; “Lisa, your mother is crazy. She will never be able to be your mother. Run, Lisa from her. Run!”
I had never heard a voice like this before. After all, who does at 13? Time stopped.
It was the heat of the blood flowing into my cheeks and the sensation of them turning bright red that snapped me back into place. But this time, the embarrassment rising inside of me was NOT to utter some cordial attempt at a reply, but to simply let my mothers words hang lifeless like a dead man swinging from a rope. It was right then the first part of my mother died to me as my self-esteem rose.
Indeed it took me over 28 years, 6.5 months and a few days,to FINALLY TRULY accept my mother’s figurative death to me. It happened almost four years ago and almost to the day of my birthday, BY CHOICE. This day WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT FIRST of a number of significant emotional shifts I would make for MY CREATIVE LIFE to FINALLY evolve and FLOW.
Like I said there was no drama. I did stop calling and I sent this letter:
I love you with all my heart and soul. And yet, you are at war with the world and with anyone who loves you, especially with me. If you ever are willing to take even the smallest part of responsibility for your actions, and ever want to try and really be my mom, I will come back to your side in the flash of a moment. But short of that– PLEASE know I LOVE YOU and will be THERE FOR YOU IN YOUR GREATEST TIME OF NEED, but until that time, our relationship is over..”
And that is how I began my strategic creative-for-life sustainability plan. I rooted out ALL the dysfunction out of my life. EVERY SINGLE DROP. Just the same way eating egg whites and oatmeal, chicken and salad is CLEAN eating, I out rooted the dysfunction in my life that was depriving me of having life’s special sauce. And it was the most amazing thing- about 6 months after I really let all of the dysfunction freely flow away from me, my thoughts began to change. My energy began to flow. And the real creative person always WANTED to BECOME FINALLY SHOWED HER FACE and has begun to rock and roll.
Through my music and writing and artistry I am creating a new recipe, a new kind of artistic hope and value filled stew of possibilities.
Dear creative friends, our time to shine in life is here. It’s ARRIVED. It’s RIGHT NOW. Our broken world is literally and figuratively gushing from the bottom of the ocean and needs our creative gifts TRULY LIKE NEVER BEFORE. Our glory days helping to SAVE THE WORLD ARE RIGHT in front of us.
BUT NOT until we learn how to become the wonderful human beings we have mostly fooled ourselves into believing we are. We need to be WONDERFUL so we can work together, play together and CREATE VALUE together. We deserve to shine! Our gifts are great!
Please won’t you spread our good news and help me to open my school. This is what God put me on this earth to do. It has never been so clear or real. God bless you Lea. I would not know how to do this work if you had NOT been my mother….