Today is my youngest son’s 25th birthday. 25 years ago my doctor smiled at me and told me he had never seen anyone as excited as I was, as the nurse placed my tiny little man in my arms. He had big blue eyes and a mop of black hair. This in itself was unusual. We were mostly redheads in our family and I don’t ever remember a blue eyed child. As with my other children, I fell instantly in love.
We were always very close. He was my baby. It had been 7 years since I had given birth to his brother and back then I was considered an “older” mother. I loved my son so much and through the years we became as close as mother and son could get. Then something changed: my son stopped talking to me and I have no idea why.
I packed up and moved across the state after working 10 years in a stressful thankless job at the suggestion of my son. He said he thought I would love living here in Hobart and I would be able to see more of him. I had been divorced a couple of years by this time. It had been a very painful breakup and divorce for me and I had also lost my home and my financial circumstances were at their worst. I welcomed the change and was excited to be living closer to my boy.
At first it was great. I loved Kingston, the little seaside town just outside Hobart. My son and his flatmate came over every couple of weeks for dinner. I was even invited out for the occasional meal with “the boys”. I had known most of my son’s friends for over 10 years. I settled into life in Hobart and was content and happy. Then it happened.
I was booked in for hip replacement surgery and asked my son if he would be able to do the odd thing for me when I came home from hospital. His answer was “Of course Mum. Me and the boys will help.” I was pretty organised and wouldn’t much help, just the odd visit to the doctor’s surgery or a couple of items picked up from the supermarket. Before I even had the operation, my son had words with me over his girlfriend of a few months. I won’t go into details, but despite my efforts I hadn’t been given much of a chance to get to know her. Then I commented on something one day that was absolutely in no way anything to do with my son’s girlfriend. We talked about this and I thought nothing of it. Things changed though and my boy just stopped having anything to do with me.
During my time in hospital, when I came home and later when I became seriously ill from complications, my son refused to come near me. I tried to talk to him, I tried everything. It’s been nine months now and apart from some very hurtful things my son has said to me via text when I have tried to talk to him, he has not contacted me. I sent him a birthday present but don’t expect him to acknowledge it. My marriage breakup from the love of my life was the most painful thing I have ever gone through, but nothing like this.
I don’t honestly know why this has happened. I keep trying to make sense of it and try to move on and live with it. It’s not like a divorce where you grieve and move on. This is my son, my child, part of me. I wonder does he realise the pain and heartache I feel? I wonder if I did something I don’t even know I did? I wonder will that heaviness I feel in my heart every day ever disappear? I love you, son. Happy birthday.