The Tracy Morgan Dilemma: Is It OK Not to Help Mom?
By: Charing Ball:  Via: The Root
The Tracy Morgan Dilemma: Is It OK Not to Help Mom?

In a blog entry at Madame Noire, Charing Ball examines criticism of Tracy Morgan for reportedly refusing to help his mother keep her house out of foreclosure. Relating her own story of estrangement from her mother, Ball makes the counterintuitive argument that sometimes ties have to be cut.

… We had tried to work on our relationship several times. I remember after college my mother welcomed me back home, fresh face and renewed with a whole new outlook on life. She was no longer the angry person I remember her being as a child. She pulled me close to her and hugged me. Then she told me how proud she was of me. She wanted to talk about school and my plans now that I graduated. But I was angry and harboring lots of resentment towards her, so I just shut down. I know she could sense it; I could see it on her face. I wanted her to acknowledge the obvious tension between us but instead she shut down too. And that’s how we were for several years after that — short conversations and even short tempers. Later she would move out of state. I guess we were both hoping that the distance would heal but it seemed that our communication just got worse. Mainly because I had questions and she was still not ready to answer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother dearly. And I am pretty sure that she loves me too. At the same time, we just can’t get along. I wish I could get over it and just let it go. To forgive and forget. However some stuff can’t just be pushed under the rug and shrugged away. I don’t think we’ll ever be okay until we sit down and have an honest and truthful dialogue with each other. But that can only happen if we are both willing to do so.

That’s why I have sympathy for Tracy Morgan. As many of you may already know, Morgan’s name is being dragged through the mud once again, not because of some drama on-stage but because of family drama off-screen. According to published reports, Morgan’s mother is facing foreclosure and his family has decided to take their business to the media. They claim that Morgan, who is worth around $8 million, is unwilling to cough up the $25,000 that would pay off the rears that she owes the bank.  Not much more is known about the situation other than that Morgan and his mother have been estranged for years, which is said to be documented in the book I Am the New Black. And according to another family member, “Her health is failing. She has diabetes, and her legs are giving out on her. This would be a drop in the bucket for Tracy. She has a son that can do, and she’s done everything that she possibly could for her family.”

I’ve seen lots of finger waggings and tongue lashings being directed at Morgan. It’s his family, his own mother, how could he stand aside while his mother is possibly thrown out into the street? It’s a legitimate question; however, there are no easy answers. Some people have been fortunate enough to be born to parents, who were nurturing, compassionate and present in their lives. Growing up, I knew of folks whose parents were drug addicts, abusers and valued their own personal freedom, and in some instances boyfriends, over their own children. While we are taught to always honor thy mother and thy father, the reality is that some folks with children don’t always honor their positions as parents. Likewise, those wounds from a dysfunctional household do not just heal thyself just because you are an adult now, possibly with a family of your own, and can sort of, kind of, understand some of the pressures that they might have felt as parents.

Normally I don’t talk about my relationship with my mother in any context, outside of close family and friends. What I have found is that lots of folks have a hard time understanding. I have found from experience that any attempts to share my true reasons for why you’re not doing anything for Mothers Day or going out of town to see her for the Holidays are usually met with flippant dismissals like, “well my mother and I fight too, that’s nothing” or “you should really just speak to your mother,” or my favorite guilt trip, “my mother is not around and I really wish I could speak to her again.” Well believe it or not, I do too. If not for the sake of not mending fences before either one of us leaves this earth but to reveal this burden that I carry with me through every relationship I have in life.

The last time I had regular communication with my mother; things were beginning to look up. We had a few conversations, which were cordial and non-defensive and we even laughed. She told me then that she would come to Philly and we would have a conversation because “we really needed to talk.”  The day of her supposed visit, she didn’t show up. She didn’t call or answer my phone calls for two days. When I finally caught up with her and asked her what happened, she got defensive and said, “Well I just didn’t want to come.” And that was that. One day I hope we’ll have that talk but in the meantime, for my own sanity, I just have to come to terms with the cards which I have been dealt.