Twenty-one years ago, my naivety was stripped away and I learned the truth of the adult world. Even at the age of 18, a legal adult and yet still an emotional kid, I thought adulthood was this magical stage when everyone's head suddenly straightened out, no one mistreated anyone else, and it was this magical point in your life when you kissed those fickle, catty teen years good-bye and became *mature*.
Twenty-one years ago I learned that not only could adults screw each other over, they could do it to those of us who were still kids.
The woman who broke my heart all those years ago, and showed me that adults could be pretty shitty, just passed away over the Thanksgiving weekend. And there's been an outpouring of grief and emotion and loss from those who knew her.
But not from me.
When I heard about her death, the events of those many years ago came flooding back with clarity and since I had accepted what had happened and moved on, I moved on again.
Then, I began to see the posts on Facebook of the people who knew her as well. And the outpouring of love was staggering. So many people called her their second mother, they recalled all the times she had helped them through rough times, how she had shown them unconditional love and support, and how they would all miss her terribly.
And I began to get upset. How come they all got this wonderful, caring, loving woman and I got the shaft? Why, due to a simple twist of fate, did this have to happen? Her daughter and I were members of the same organization and due to seniority, my name was ahead of her daughter's for a state office appointment. She changed the rules the following year and put her daughter's name ahead of mine. And I watched my years of service and all my hard work swirl down the drain. I get that she was watching out for her daughter and putting her interests first, which is what all mothers are supposed to do, but not at the expense of others who have worked just as hard for longer.
So I, too, mourned her passing this weekend, but for different reasons. They all will miss her and what she was for them. I mourn and miss what never was for me.