Momma and I had an interesting conversation last night. At some point, she had read my most recent post in which I discuss apathy and depression.
I think for a few years she just didn't quite understand me. That isn't an indictment of her ability but is revealing in what she was trying for far too long. What she didn't understand was my own levels of happiness and her place in my happiness and her ability to control how happy or unhappy I naturally am.
Our relationship has brought much joy and much pain as is true of all relationships in which people invest a good deal of themselves. Mostly what our relationship brings me is a happiness that Momma didn't realize. For far too long she felt somehow responsible for making me a happy person.
This is what we discussed last night. I don't want or need to be made happy, and I wish now we'd talked about this seriously before last night so I could have saved her some effort and some of her own pain.
I'm not an unhappy person, though it may quite seem like it. I'm cynical and jaded about so many things. I'm pessimistic, not in a glass half empty sort of way but in a "who drank the other half of my beer?" kind of way. It is how I am.
And I hope now that Momma has realized that I don't need her actively trying to make me happy. I certainly don't want her bringing extra stress onto herself by fighting a battle that she not only can't win but is also not hers to fight ever.
What do I want from her? Her presence makes me happy. I'm happy knowing she's there, behind me with support when I need her or leaning on me for support when she needs it. I want to know that that particular smile will always be for me, the one that makes her lip catch on the tooth she wishes she could get fixed. I'm happy knowing that no matter how bad the rest of world might seem that I can always trust her.
So ladies and gentlemen, don't try to make him/her or her/him happy because you can't. Faithfulness, trust, support, a squeeze of the hand as the tears start to flow