Saturday, July 21, 2007

Family Duty Calls

I'm spending a couple weeks in Kona with my mom. She needed a place to stay for about a month (she lives with my brother and his mother-in-law is coming to visit, an uncomfortable situation for my mom). Since Dave and I don't have a guest room in Orlando, we decided it was best that she go to Hawaii, which was fine by her since she'd not been to Kona before and the travel time to either place from California was about the same anyway.

But this is by no means a vacation for me. You see, my mom and I do not really get along. We come from two totally different cultures (my parents were raised in Japan during WWII). While others had moms they could talk to about their growing pains, my mother once told me that she was not my friend and that to talk to her about such things was insulting. In fact, I have to say that I don't really know her very well as a person, just someone who cooked, cleaned and nagged me a lot.

But one thing that did get ingrained in me was a sense of family duty. Namely, we don't have to be close or even get along. We just have to help one another when needed.

And so now my mom needs me. Since she doesn't drive or speak English that well, I'm going to get her set up and situated so she can be there on her own after I leave. There'll be time for me to do some training so that's a plus. I'll be back first weekend in August.

9 comments:

Wendy said...

Shirley, you certainly aren't alone -- lots of us have mothers with whom we aren't close.

Do the best you can, but be sure to take care of yourself in the process.

Brent Buckner said...

Yes, do look after yourself.

Susan said...

You are a good daughter!

Rural Girl said...

'Family Duty', it certainly has a strong pull doesn't it?

Cliff Tam said...

Shirley,

That's asian culture for sure. I can understand where u coming from. My parents are very straight in duty and respect.

I can say the same for my dad. I can feel my blood pressure rises when we are together.

Biggest lesson i learn and continue to learn is getting along with family. Thanks for sharing...

CewTwo said...

Different cultures make life interesting when we can exchange ideologies. Still, Family is very important.

All too soon they are gone. I know.

Enjoy your time in Kona and put up some pictures of your favorite running routes!

Iron Eric said...

I sure do love family...but it can be hard when they live far far away.

IrishBlue said...

I use to say, "The closest my mom and I ever were was when we were far apart."

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, but sometimes we definitely grate on one another. When I lived far away, we didn't have time to annoy each other I guess. Now that we're 25 miles apart, it's a bit of a challenge. Hang in there though. You're doing the right thing.

Petraruns said...

Hey Shirley, a bit late to the comments here but thinking of you - hope you're getting something out of your time with your mother. It's hard when you're not close and yet still feel such a strong obligation but you sound like you are handling it. Keep running / cycling / swimming so you can rid yourself of tension!