Self Portrait Saturday and Mortality
During our trip, Kevin and I made a stop to visit some family. It wasn't the main point of the trip and we didn't spend much time with them. It was enough time to cause me to reflect back. The last time I went out there was two months after Kevin and I started dating. That's just over 9 years ago. So many things have changed since that time.
The most difficult part for me was seeing my Granny. My two biggest memories of my Granny are not pleasant memories (1). So I do my best to try to remember her, from the time when my Grandpa was alive. Those were happy times, before death tore the family apart, before religion became a livelihood.
My memory of the home my grandparents lived in was a high class place full of beautiful pieces of their lives. Gorgeous dinning room table, china cabinets full of fancy porcelain. The basement full of wondrous toys, including cabbage patch dolls, old metal cars, and a pool table we could climb all over. Grandpa's workshop full of his oil paintings, photography, and wood-making tools. Granny's corner with her cabinet sewing machine, work projects, and strawberry jam.
Laughter and smiles lingered long in the corners of that house. I can still smell the instant coffee wafting from the microwave and the nutella being double spread on my freshly made bun, with the secret smile of "we won't tell, Mom" as Grandpa watch from over the top of his newspaper.
It was a shock to see where is she living now and how mismatched things had become. As much as I have heard the stories of her mind going. It was strange to hear her tell the same thing over and over every thirty minutes. Dementia is an evil bitch.
It was odd that she wanted us to take everything home with us, so she would know who was enjoying it before she died. It hurt to hear her talk about how soon she would be moving to full time care and then to hear my aunt speak about the same thing but in a totally different way. They both have such different ideas of how it's going to work out.
Lately mortality has been catching up with me. Stories like Freckled Fox's husband (2) are starting to surround me. Things like dementia, cancer, illness, and death are things I am going to have to learn to deal with. I am going to have to learn how to be a good friend, a good person, and a support system.
Right now my world is all about me. Things are going fabulous. I told Kevin the other day that I didn't know how to deal with illness and impending death (3) because everything in my life is so happy. I exude happiness. I made it all about me and not the fact that a friend is what's needed.
Life has not taught me to be a good friend in tough times.
A friend posted a HuffPost called Honest Empathy Cards Are A Refreshing Alternative to Hallmark. The card that got me the most was
I'm Really Sorry I Haven't Been In Touch. I Didn't Know What To Say.
Sometimes there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel.
NOTES: 1. My strongest memory of my Granny is when my parents bought the farm and she came out to visit us. She saw the farm and came back very unhappy to our home in Airdrie. Mom and Dad left her to babysit my siblings and I. She told me that we would die of starvation if we moved out there. I proceeded to lock her out of the house until Mom and Dad came home. The second memory is when she attempted to force me to eat beans in beef sauce. Resulting in one of the worst punishments of my life.2. Emily from Freckled Fox is not a personal friend just someone I have been following for a while!3. I have a person in my life, someone who I know as very strong woman going through a difficult time. Her husband has gone into hospice. The last line is reflecting this.