I don’t know what else to call it. I crashed this morning, and turned off the ringer on the phone. It is the first time I’ve done this since 2005 and my mother had heart failure. In fact, either my sister or I have rarely strayed more than thirty minutes from our parents since that time. This was the first day I’ve not felt the need to dive at the phone when it rang. Even though my mother has been living in Memphis for two years, still, every day, every single day I called her, or jumped when the phone rang.
There is nothing wrong with this. It is as it should be. But, you realize what a toll it takes. My poor sister is a basket case. It has taken me over two years to get over dealing with my father’s Alzheimer’s and the exhaustion that goes the stress of the disease. I’m still dealing with the financial impact. At least we have been able to trace the way my parents’ money was stolen.
It’s weird. It is also life. We do our best and try not to alienate people in the process. A friend came by this afternoon and started on “Your mother was…”. I told her I just did not want to talk about it. I can’t. One of my two BFFs told me that people ‘relate’ their experiences at ‘times like this’. She mentioned pregnancy, hysterectomies (I would love one, BTW), and grandchildren. She’s right. I should be more tolerant.
BUT… I don’t want to discuss a friend of a friend’s brother’s domestic difficulties which led up to him drinking and driving and later dying of some disease, after he caught his ex-wife spending way too much money on credit cards right before she was getting ready to divorce him. Is that selfish of me? Granted, any other time I would be interested in the story – to steal it for fiction. But, not right now.
Last night, while I was trying to write, I discovered I couldn’t spell compromise. I noticed I had nine fingers on my right hand. When that happens, I’m coming down with a migraine. I was that tired. It was a good thing my friend had taken me to lunch. I was so wiped out, I needed it.
This morning my sister and I were discussing a few things. She wants family and tradition. I don’t want anything. I think funerals and death practices are barbaric and for the living. Because I took point with our father’s services, I told her she needed to do our mother, who was very outspoken about what she wanted and did not want. We still don’t know what we want to do – or when. Evidently that bothers people.
Sorry, but the whole process is barbaric. Quick funerals were because bodies didn’t do well after a few hours, and needed to be buried, quickly. When you are dealing with cremation, what is the big deal? The last thing my mother wanted was much of a service. She wanted some summer flowers – primarily white daisies, a party with champagne cocktails, and people being happy.
What is wrong with that?
On Monday, my sister, oldest niece, and I enacted the traditional Southern female ritual of the jewelry. It was quite humorous at the time, and is even funnier now. I suspect, a year from now we will think it is extremely funny. The Froehlich tradition is to laugh and be happy.
Why not stick with works?
The important thing is the amazing, almost miraculous amount of family healing which has taken place. That’s what matters – that and lives dedicated to Christ.