mom is in the Assisted Living home. She has a sweet little apartment, complete with refrigerator and microwave, coffee pot and toaster. And most of her beautiful stuff, her antique desk and her grandmother’s rocker were the first pieces of furniture we brought in. I had them all set up before she came into her room. It made her smile, and I like to think, gave her a sense of home.
I am left to clean up the mess that was her home. whenever you walked into moms it was dark. Since I was a child she avoided turning on lights in the house. her home always looked neat and tidy. When we began to ready her move and I had to open drawers and cupboards I found out that she has kept every piece of paper to enter that house since dad died over 5 years ago, along with a multitude of bills etc. from when he was alive. And, among these bills, checks, receipts and contracts, I found no less than 15 letters and notes where she detailed a variety of wrongs my brother and I had done to her. Hateful notes full of self pity and accusations of neglect and anger. Not one, not ONE of them spoke of her great grandchildren, or her grandchildren. Of visits to dads grave, or shopping trips or Christmas meals. None of them spoke of her sorrow at dads passing or her memories of their past together. Each was a scathing hit at one of us, or dad. She kept one from 1956 that she wrote to dad, a private note between a young wife and her husband, full of hatred and threats. And they were scattered throughout her troves of papers. You couldn’t miss them, and, for all except one dated October 2012 and the one written to my father, you couldn’t tell when they were written. And even if now she doesn’t remember they are there — if her fog is that deep— when she wrote them, when she placed them in with these papers, she knew we would find them . She wrote them to cause us pain. We were meant to find them after she died, when we couldn’t confront them or her, when we couldn’t question her or dispute. She wrote them to cause us pain. What a pitiful, angry life.
And a lesson for me to surround myself in gratitude and joy and let the anger and pain roll off. It is just cruel to cause pain to those who love you — and to do it when it is too late for them to make it right.
that I am part of the “sandwich” generation. However, right now I am about out of peanut butter and this whole “caretaker” roll is getting stale. So self involved, I know, but, I’m exhausted.
Tonight I saw a picture of my dad, probably taken in or around 1995 or 96. Arm around his sister, cigarette dangling from his fingers, tatoos still clear and proud. damn I miss him. That smile, that laugh, those eyes that never, well almost never, lost their sparkle. He loved life, loved the people around him, loved to be doing something, almost anything. this man could make sitting at the tides edge, digging for shells and fiddler crabs a whole day’s adventure.
I hope my kids remember their dad and I the way I remember dad. Always present, always caring, always mine.
of the morning, sometimes I remember their eyes when they looked up at me. Or the sticky hands or legos on the floor. I remember the cut up oranges and apples with peanut butter. The Barbies and dinosaurs that made up the 80’s and a good part of the 90’s of my life. Beds full of arms and legs as they scrambled into our bed on Sunday morning, the line of us making our way into church.
And, sometimes it makes me sad. Melancholy actually — no surprise I guess. Those years were like jello – soft, colorful, quiet yet capable of eliciting squeals of joy and wails of sorrow. My children stretched and grew, totally oblivious to the inevitability of change, yet embracing every new skill, word, personality spike. And I ached to grow with them . Moments of success punctuated by days of “dear lord, did I really do/say that?”
And now they are grown. Married, successful, struggling in their own way to raise their own children. And I still ache to grow with them. Some things never change, yes?
Today I had my second colonoscopy. I hate even typing the word. 😦
Results were good, no scary things lurking around, which was a relief since last time, 4 years ago, they had to remove some polyps. (TMI? Sorry…) And, I dont have to do it again for 5 years! Woo hoo! Hopefully the prep will be better by then. Good Lord, what a way to ruin a day! I lost everything except my sense of humor — but wow, what a night.
So, I did what I was supposed to do, had the test. Worried a bit due to previous results, but felt safe and cared for during the process and appreciative of my doctor’s kind words and honest conversation afterwards.
This “aging” thing has its perks. I get to choose how to spend my time, I have many people to love and be loved by, I have the resources to do most of what I want…but the downside is this myriad of “tests” that you have to expose yourself to after you turn 50. And, although you know the chances are you are fine, there is still that nagging doubt. I tend to spread my tests out over the year, deal with one possibility at a time, but i have friends who pile them all into a one or two month period to get them over with….not sure which is the best idea. But, for now, this one is over, and I am fine with that!