I know I don't get serious here very often. I've got some stuff I need to write about and if you'll bear with me, we'll get back to regularly scheduled light-heartedness soon!

Mother's Day is hard for me.

My biological mother is a homeless drug addict and I haven't talked to the "normal" her since Mother's Day 2007. It's so weird to just lay it out there like that. It makes it more surreal.

When I was a kid, I thought my mother was amazing. She was always the height of fashion, very hip, gave great advice and I thought I had a wonderful relationship with her.

It's easy to see only the good when the memories are choped into every other weekend chunks, when the parent rarely has to be a parent, can get away with being just a friend and uses gifts to hide their guilt. As an adult, I can see why the very young version of me preferred those carefree, discipline free, shoping spree filled weekends. It's easy to see why, at 15 years old, I wanted to live somewhere that had fewer boundaries and next to no rules.

And that was the turning point in my relationship with my mother. Living with her full time.

I was still young and selfish so, much of her lack in parenting went unnoticed at the time. At 17, we don't appreciate a home where there are boundaries but, we sure do need them. But, I had almost no rules. Shortly after moving in with her when I was 15, she divorced my stepdad of more than 10 years. We moved out on our own and, for a brief moment, things seemed ideal. Yet, they were far from it. When I was 17, she married one of my friends. Granted, he was five years older than me but, still a friend of mine and still way younger than her. By the time I was 18, they had moved with my new baby sister to Hawaii because my new "step dad" had joined the air force and had gotten stationed there.

During that time, my mom became something she'd never been when she was in the same house as me. She became a close confidant, my biggest supporter, the person I turned to for everything. We talked on the phone all the time and she was usually the first person I called when I needed something or had a life triumph.

Being so far away from her for so many years really kept me from seeing the things I needed to see. Yes, I needed to see her true colors. I really believe that. I didn't get the chance to see any of it until I was 23. By that point, they were living in northern Cali and had added a little brother to my family. I came to a point in my life where I needed support and foolishly thought that my mother was the one and only person willing to give me what I needed. I moved to Cali to let my mother be my mother.

My eyes were opened quickly to what I'd always been blind to. My mother was a mother of convenience. A mother for show. When people were around, she was amazing at making it look like she was just the absolute best mother there ever was. In reality, she was far from it. It hurts me to say it but, I know it's true. The reason I went to Cali was because I was pregnant and when my son was born 10 weeks early it was hard. I needed my mom. I needed support. She left me there, at the hospital, an hour and a half from her home, alone for 3 weeks while my son was in ICU. By luck and by the generosity of my father, I was able to stay in a cottage across from the hospital. The day I started staying there she went and bought me a few groceries, gave me a small amount of money and left. She came back once in those three weeks. It wasn't until very recently, 6 years since this happened, that I found out she was making it appear to her friends like she was there with me all the time. They had no idea I was alone and were under the same impression that she was supermom.

It got worse after I brought TRex home from the hospital and about a month later I returned to Texas and to 0007 and our new life as a family of our own. My mother and I did not end things on speaking terms and it was a while before we spoke again. I feel bad for my husband because since the beginning he's had to feel the effects of the baggage my mother has left me with.

Things were good for a while and she even visited at Christmas four years ago. That was the last time I saw her. TRex was 2 and she's never met Snappy.

When I found out I was having a girl, she was the first person I called. She was ecstatic. Those were happy times and we talked often. She was my best friend again. But, it didn't last. Mother's Day 2007 was the last time I talked with her under normal circumstances.

The story is long with tons of insane side stories but, what has been pieced together after the fact is that she had surgery on her back, got addicted to the pain pills, my step dad was deployed, somehow she got introduced to meth. I don't know how. I do know that she put my sister and brother in some dangerous situations and turned into a completely different person. But, maybe she didn't. Maybe she was always crazy. Maybe she was never meant to be a mother. I have such a hard time blaming outside things instead of the person being responsible for their own actions. She was the one who did the drugs. She was the one who destroyed our family. She was the one who abandoned her children. She left my stepdad and my siblings shortly after Mother's Day. She was in and out of jail and mostly she was homeless. She randomly called my brother and my grandpa but, my husband wouldn't allow her to call me. He wanted to protect me. He wanted to protect his children. I do not fault him for this.

I still don't know how I felt about things when it first happened. It was all so crazy. I was angry. I was really angry at her for what she did to my siblings. I also have a brother very close in age to me and to see him so broken up about it was heart breaking for me. I kept up that angry and strong facade because I'm the oldest, because I have kids, because I didn't know what else to feel. I cry in solitude or when I finally break and cry to 0007. In the last three years, she's called me once. A year and a half ago, on my birthday, I got a call from her out of the blue. I fell to my knees and started sobbing. She sounded so normal. So much like she used to. We talked for only a few brief minutes and it was over. She was at a homeless shelter, borrowing a phone from someone. I remember the call like it was yesterday and sometimes wonder if that was the last time I'll hear her voice.

Some might think it would be easy to write her off for all she's done. But, for all she is and all she isn't, she's still my mom. When I'm upset or scared or excited or just want to know what top to wear, she's the first person I still think to call. Sometimes I hate her for what she's done. Sometimes I hate her for not being there to call. Sometimes I hate her for putting all her characteristics in me. My whole life I've been told by so many people, "You're just like your mother." and, in so many ways, they've been right. I have so much of her inside of me. These days, I just feel lucky to be aware of it. I know I could never hurt my children like she has. I know I could never walk away from my children like she did. I know my kids deserve so much better than she gave me. I am aware of those things and I keep them close as a reminder of the mother I will never be.

Yet, I still miss her. It hurts to have to call the coroner's office. It hurts to have to call the jails in Cali. It hurts to not know where she is, what she's doing, if she's hungry, cold, tired, sick or if she even remembers us. There have been times in the last few years where I almost long for the call that she's been found dead. At least it would be over, right? I know it's terrible to think that but, the not knowing, the wondering when it will happen is hard and there's just no closure possible. I've given up hope that things will ever go back to normal, that she'll return and be "normal". All I'm left with are memories of a mother who was never really a mother but, still a friend I miss terribly.

Mother's Day is hard for me.