For the first time in weeks I am alone in the house, on my ever so quiet street, in Campbell. This doesn’t happen very often and I realize I’m smiling. It’s so peaceful. Dante is working, Tony moved to fricken Australia, Larry is biking with friends, Julie moved seven minutes away just to be ornery, Kelley only drops in every third day, Brighton could be anywhere, and the cat died, so here I am. All alone. I can hear the dishwasher working, the birds chirping, and my thoughts. What an anomaly.
Flicking through my brain like a twitter feed is a list of chores in need of attention. Water the plants, check Facebook, write those thank you notes, organize my syllabus for the fall, visit mom, sort the laundry, update my calendar, organize the top drawer in my bathroom, repot the dead plant on the porch, air out Dante’s room, vacuum the dust under the bed, return calls, get a pedicure, order a fold down couch for the lake house, file the broken nail on my right hand, go food shopping, join Stitch fix, do some sit ups, and so on. Instead I’m filling my coffee cup and sitting outside. I’m such a rebel.
I should be showering and heading over to see my mom but I’m rolling in this unexpected furlough like a pig in fresh mud. Maneuvering though my mother’s recent illness has shown me how precarious life can be. I’m compelled to reexamine my priorities and drop the guilt. How many things can I let go of in order to care for my mom? Should there be boundaries on my time? I keep looking around for my old life and it’s gone. There is no resume button when you step out of ordinary time, it’s like a shadow, only casting itself on the ground you choose to occupy. I’ve had to make some uncomfortable adjustments, but I slipped into my big girl panties, and I’m dealing with the fact I need an extra large.
A few nights ago Larry and I walked down to Jim and Sue’s for a glass of wine. It was late. I had been with mom all day, sitting quietly beside an older version of myself, wrestling with the illusion of time. The battle is exhausting. The four of us sat outside, sipping wine, talking about our grandkids. I had to take an internal pause, we all met in our early twenties, married a few years later, had our first children only a month apart, raised up a total of seven kids just around the corner from each other, took family vacations, did some creative financing to manage all the tuitions, lost and found jobs, buried loved ones, witnessed the birth of our first grandchildren, Sue even cut the damn cord, and here we sit beneath the stars, trying to figure out how it all happened so fast. It begins anew with Cade and Audrey and I thank God for this glorious second cup.
Leave a fleeting thought in the comments.
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