The last vacation I took with them was a get away to South Padre Island not long after my grandfather passed away. We were all pretty beat down after dealing with his sickness and his eventual death and we needed the break badly. Most of the memories I have of our time together on the beach is of a great time spent together as a family. Unfortunately, some of the memories weren't so good either. My mother's alcoholism was present in every thing we did and even though she's been sober for over two years now it still effects us to this day.
My relationship with mom has been a rocky one for years and we're just now getting to a point where we can tolerate each other and even have a good time together. I've learned to accept that she's not the same woman I grew up knowing. She's softened a lot, but at the same time her mannerisms, her attitude, and her outlook on life has hardened. Maybe it's age or the bad cards she's been dealt from time to time in her life, either one can cause a person to be slightly bitter.
I'm not one to blame my parents for the mistakes I've made in my life. I don't blame my parent's divorce when I was three on the fact that I didn't get into an ivy league college and that I'm not making hella jack right now. What I do though is I blame my mother's alcoholism for my critical view of her. Her inability to embrace any kind of moderation in her life lead her down the path to rehab, twice. Each time she went away I was there to clean up the mess (literally) that she left behind. Each time hoping that this was the time she would stay sober and maybe she would see what she was missing in life by sitting on the couch drinking her days away. Her alcoholism has left her physically different, mentally different, and has permanently changed our relationship. I am cautious around her, to a point. I take everything she says with a grain of salt and a "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude. I'm more critical of her and quick to jump on her when she irritates me. I truly believe this comes from years and years of putting up with her bullshit and at the same time keeping my mouth shut when it comes to her. I'm at a point in my life where I refuse to keep quiet about her. She has let me down more times than I can count, but her being there for our wedding in September is helping me to forgive her.
Don't doubt this, I do love my mother. In some ways we are so alike it's scary and in others we are as different as night and day. I spent a good portion of my life looking up to her. Doing every thing I could to make her proud of me. When I finally realized that she was only human and was capable of her own failings is when her and I got to a point where we could never go back. Right now my disappointments out weigh the good feelings I have about her. But I applaud and appreciate her effort at this point. She's trying and so am I.