I’m sorry you’re unable to make it this weekend. It’s your birthday and I know you have every right to do what you wish. I just wish…
I thought perhaps, hoped of course, and have dreamt on more occasions than you’ll ever know, that such times you’d like to spend with your family. You have me, your son, and you have two amazing grandchildren who love you and care about you.
But now I know you can’t do that. Because you’re not well.
I don’t like to see you unwell. I care about you and hate to see you like this but, also, more than anything else, it makes me fucking angry.
I’m fucking angry because you’ve drunk yourself into this poor health. Years of alcohol abuse which has taken your body and mind, chewed up the good bits and spat them out, and chewed up and spat out the best wishes, care, support and the love of those around you. Spat them out into their faces.
I once begged you to stop drinking. I was 10. I was worried for you. I was worried for your health and well-being because I wanted you around. I wanted you to be there in my life. But fucking hell mum, you ignored it. You preferred being drunk. And you still do.
You drank to ignore life I guess, but fucking hell mum. I was PART of that life. You drank and I feel, have always felt, and will ALWAYS feel that I was the thing worth drinking yourself away from, or that I never did enough. And you drank a lot. Perhaps you needed to to blot me out completely. Maybe I never did enough. Maybe begging you to stop made things worse.
You ended up in hospital recently because, as your doctor told me, you were inebriated. I corrected him. “Pissed you mean?” You fell down some stairs and broke some bones. Ended up in hospital. You now have carers working for you to make your life easier. You had people worried and sad for you. But this happened because you did something you said you don’t do. You told me you don’t drink anymore. And I was a total fucking idiot to believe this.
You’re a liar and an alcoholic. But you are also my mum, which means I should give a shit.
You’ve taken too many casualties by being like this and by ignoring those around you. But I swear, on all that I am, that you’re not going to take any more. I forbid it. My children will never want for anything, but the one thing they may want is something you are unprepared to give. Your time and your effort.
So. No false hope eh?
I’ve cried so many times mum. Hours and hours and hours in my bedroom when I was growing up. I was a bright boy, able to understand most things, but I couldn’t ever understand why you drank.
This isn’t a guilt trip, or a letter begging you to stop. This isn’t a moment where I ask you to be there for your grandchildren or for me. This isn’t that. This is me just writing something you’ll never see, will never read, and will probably never understand.
This is the end.
It’s not the end of you seeing your grandchildren. I could never do that despite what’s gone on. I have no right. They love you mum, they fucking love you, are always pleased to see you, and always ask about you. That makes me proud. And I will always, despite what’s gone on, tell them I love you. They just don’t ever need to know the other stuff.
It’s the end of me caring so much. It’s the end of me crying so much. It’s the end of me wishing that things could be different. Although, I suspect, by writing this that may not be something I can do at the flick of a switch. But writing this helps, and you always told me I should write.
Happy birthday mum. Enjoy your drink. Don’t insult me by telling me you won’t be drinking. I’m 40, have known you for long enough and I didn’t come down in the last shower.
I wish you well, and will always, always love you. To the moon and back, as we used to say when I was little.