What Now?

flight sky people high

As I write this, it’s Thursday, the day before the viewing for my Mother, which will be Friday. Ah Friday. Lately seems like all of the interesting shit falls on a Friday. Then there will be Saturday. The day that we bury her.

I’m still sort of in shock. I’m still numb. Maybe tomorrow reality will hit me full force in the face. Maybe not. Maybe that will be Saturday. Then again, maybe not. Maybe it will be weeks or months, maybe even years before this really hits me. I don’t really know.

My closest Brother, Ryan, called me today. He lives in Illinois at the moment. He’s been there for quite a few years now. God I miss him. I really wish he was here. He can’t be though. He’s got his own life and his own shit to deal with.

But we talked. Talked for about an hour and a half. It was really good to talk with him. I got to tell him the things that are going on in my life at the moment and he got to tell me the things that are going on in his life. He’s got some really, and I mean REALLY awesome things that are happening to him. I’m so happy for him. I really and truly hope that they work out and come true.

We talked about my Mom. We talked about how we went to car shows with her and my Dad. He mentioned that she was like a Mother to him as well. He’s hurting too. I know it.

My Mom was a “neat lady.” She was. She was neat. She did the best she could and like all of us really, she had to figure things out as she went. She had to wing it. I’ll always love her for that. She meant well.

I’m relieved that she is no longer in pain. I’m glad that she isn’t suffering anymore. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that I got to know her the best that I could.

That being said, my Mom was no saint. She wasn’t perfect. In fact, she was rather heavy handed with me as I was growing up. Even right up to the end, that was how she was. Always giving me unsolicited advice. Telling me what I “should” do. What I “ought” to do. What I “needed” to do. Some of that unsolicited advice was priceless. Most of it was worthless.

I guess in her eyes, I never grew up. I was never the Man before her. I was always her son and the little boy who didn’t have it figured out and would never figure it out. Even at my age of 46. Part of me resents her for that.

I know that I’ll miss her terribly. But part of me is relieved that she is gone. For the first time in my life, I feel truly out from under her. I’m sure I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’m saying it again.

I get to be me now. I don’t have to wear a mask around the family anymore. I don’t have to wear a mask around her anymore. I can be who I am, warts and all. I don’t have to face her judgment anymore. I don’t have to hear her “should’s,” “ought to’s,” and “need’s” anymore. I can be me full time around my Dad now. He can be who he really is around me full time now.

I love my Mom and always will, if it wasn’t for her and my Father both, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t exist.

I still resent her though, to some degree. And like I said, I’m relieved that she is gone. I don’t have to put up with her shit anymore.

I mentioned to my Dad the other day why I didn’t come around much ever since I left the nest and got out on my own. I didn’t have to finish what I had started, he finished it for me.

“You didn’t come around much because you didn’t want to hear your Mother’s shit.”

He’s right. Nailed it in one. I’ve always considered my Father perceptive, but I didn’t realize until then, just how perceptive he really is.

I needed to tell him why I didn’t come around so that he didn’t think it was about him. Turns out he knew all along. He was right.

The girlfriend tolerated my Mother and the sparse visits we made to visit her and my Dad. I knew she didn’t really want to be around my Mom. She said to me one night after we had left their house, “You change when you’re around them.”

“What? How do you mean?”

“I don’t know, you become more quiet, more withdrawn, sullen.”

“I do?”

“Yeah you do.”

I never realized I did that until that conversation. But I did. Did it for years. Honestly, I did that my whole life. I tried to show my Mom who I really was when I was much younger and she didn’t want to see it. Couldn’t see it. Wouldn’t see it. Like many things in her world, her life, she only saw what she wanted to see. We all do that to one degree or another. I know I do.

The girlfriend spoke to me the other day, she hopes that my Dad will wait until she gets back from her trip before he starts to remove Mom’s stuff from the house. She wants to help him do it. She wants to hopefully get a better picture of who my Mom as a Mother and a woman was, and she also wants to get to know my Dad better. She actually wants to spend more time around my Father. She likes him. She wants to see what he’s like now that he’s not the caregiver. She wants to see him outside the influence of my Mom. I do too.

My Father and I get to start new chapters now. Chapters without the influence of my Mother. It’ll be good I think.

No, it will be great.

Life is absurd and so is death. But here we are.

There are no rules really, only consequences. Do what you want. Think what you want. Be who you want. Accept the consequences of those choices. Realize for the most part, none of those choices or consequences will kill you.

Set yourself free.

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