Shelley Widhalm

Archive for the ‘Confrontations’ Category

Friends Again

In Confrontations, Dog sitting, Forgiveness, Moms and daughters, Separations on September 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

My mom and I are friends again.

My mom and I are friends again, but it took me a few months to get over what had happened. Our argument pointed to longstanding family issues that I had yet to resolve, but it took that argument for me to do some more inner work.

I am sure my mother, too, remained mad at me for awhile. I did not ask her if she, deep within her own emotional world, forgave me.

Forgiveness is hard, but losing your friendship with your mom because you or she cannot get past family issues would present a big loss, at least for me. I had been angry at my dad first, an anger that surfaced when my parents got divorced when I was 30. I was angry at him for not trying hard enough in his marriage with my mom. And then I was angry at my mom for not trying either.

The separation of their lives was out of necessity. Zoey’s and mine, however, was out of circumstance, lack of money and the fear of losing my job and having nowhere to live.

Zoey’s and my separation, however, will not be permanent. Until we are girl and dog again, I cannot help but miss her little body next to mine at night and her following me everywhere I go as if I’m the most interesting person in the world. Where else can you find a friend like that?

Goodbye Zoey

In Babysitting, Confrontations, Dog sitting, Hard goodbyes, Leaving Zoey on September 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

When my mom said she would no longer babysit Zoey, I took that cute, adorable puppy with me on “an errand” and called my dad. He told me to not sell, get rid of or drop Zoey off at an animal shelter (I would rather drop myself off than her). He said he would take care of her until I moved into my own place. (It took me awhile to do this because I was facing a potential layoff during the Great Recession, but, as of yet, I still have a job).

A couple days later of my mom and I avoiding each other (this was in October 2009), I put up the white flag and asked her if she wanted to get coffee. She said, yes. While we sipped lattes, I told her that I was sorry for expecting her to take care of Zoey, She said that she was sorry for some of the things she said, and so did I.

But then a week later, I came home from work and my mom was in a very bad mood. She snapped at me a couple of times and physically pushed Zoey away. I suggested kenneling Zoey.

Mom said, “I want her out of here.”

And that was that.

So on Friday, October 16, 2009, I took Zoey to my dad’s house to stay with him. Two days later, I gave Zoey a big kiss and hug goodbye and tried not to cry as I drove 123 miles from his house in Eastern Colorado to mine along the Front Range. That night, I couldn’t sleep because I kept crying. We were separated, not only by distance but by something that had nothing to do with her, or maybe it was all her (and me).

Babysitting Zoey, Part II

In Babysitting, Confrontations, Dog sitting, Journaling on August 15, 2010 at 2:42 am

In late May 2009, I stayed the weekend in Fleming with my Dad, as did my brother and his girlfriend Kim, along with Sophie, a then-1-year-old golden retriever belonging to Kim’s parents. (Zoey will tell you about what we did in her blog.)

I got home at 10 p.m. on a Sunday, and my mom was mad at me about the dog. She said she has been a pest, making it so she can’t get anything done, and this weekend with her gone made her realize how much time she uses up on Zoey.

She said she didn’t want to take care of Zoey anymore and wanted me to get rid of her. I thought that it was a ridiculous request. I said I would look for a better job so I could afford puppy day care, though I didn’t think I could find one in this great big recession, plus I didn’t want to exactly quit a job I had just started not even a year earlier.

I told Mom that she expects Brian and me to take care of her, but mostly Brian.

My mom said, “Well then, don’t.”

The tone of her voice was like a slap. I told her I was going to bed, not wanting to hear more about how I’m an awful daughter.

The next day, my mom and I apologized to each other.

I wrote in my journal (something I’ve kept since second grade), “I now know it was a mistake to get Zoey, since Mom doesn’t want to take care of an active, hard-to-discipline dog, who seemed very sweet in the pet store.”

I was angry, to say the least. I figured that if my mom doesn’t want to babysit my dog, she certainly wouldn’t want to babysit any child I had. But maybe I was over-reacting, because Zoey certainly wasn’t for the faint-hearted.