I am thinking here of the ugliness at the end with my mother's boyfriend of more than 20 years. He had bequeathed to her in his will the only thing he really had of value at the end, putting her name on it, as part or whole owner. His car. But having put her name on it, when he needed to allow his caretaker to drive it, there was restrictions. He needed my mother to sign a paper from DMV restoring to him full ownership. My mother was fearful to do it.that our mothers were women who could not love anyone?
My mother was always seeking material advantage. To her love was that. She was hated by this man's kids, because she refused to restore to them a diamond bracelet that had been their mother's that the man had gifted to her. She refused outright no matter how much the man suffered. Eventually she lied and said she had lost it. The drama of this went on for months and months. When the man could not bring her to family gatherings for holidays, she would feel sorry for herself. She wanted it both ways. One hundred percent wanted and loved, and one hundred percent able to feed off everybody unrestricted by censure or rejection.
So when I arrived at my mother's house one of the first things I tackled was going to the DMV to get the paperwork for changing ownership of the boyfriend's car. M and I stood for hours in line without result. The man called and called. I explained to him I was trying to do what he needed. He became irate, screaming at me. M saw my face and took the phone. The man began screaming at him in English and M heard him say, "dirty Mexican." We said goodbye and hung up. He could not or would not understand that my plate was full, and I was still trying to help him. Eventually I was able to make the transfer of ownership.
My mother had then gone from the hospital to rehab. She said the boyfriend's belligerence she had seen before but not to her. She felt bad and could not understand how a man, the child of immigrants, a despised group could do the same to others. The way of the world, I said. I told her the boyfriend wanted to hear from her, and wanted to visit. She said, "what for?" And there ended a 20 year plus relationship. The man had been devoted to her. He had been her most constant support, to the extent that he cooked for her and brought her Jewish food every week so that she could eat food from her youth. She would tell me about it. He also shopped for her and brought her fresh produce. Until over 90 years old he drove LA freeways more than an hour each way to see her, and she would not let him sleep over.
This is the nature of love that I grew up with.