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.