Dad would've been 70 this past Thursday, June 4. Lately, I find myself reflecting on where we were at this time last year. June was the first of Dad's hospitalizations last summer. I took off for a week to alternate shifts with my Mom & keep Dad company. He'd suffered kidney failure. And it all went downhill from then.
I think Mom & I are each going through our own 'thing' right now. Whatever grief & angst we have about Dad's cancer journey & death, each of us needs our alone time. Mom actually nipped at me the other day, telling me, "Don't call me, I'll call you." So I didn't call her for a couple of days (until the neighbors informed us that she'd left her garage door open for half a day!) I suppose my calling her three times a day has been a bit much. So I'm trying to call her just once daily now.
As I've tried to understand who my Mom is now -- a woman without her husband, a nurse who retired when she didn't expect to, a giving & thoughtful Mom, sister & auntie, a very private woman -- I realize she may now be a different person. Just because I have known her as my Mom doesn't mean that's all she'll ever be. In fact, I see Mom struggling to explore who she is . . . like an adolescent who's pushing her boundaries, figuring out her new independence, and probing into new friendships - some familiar, some not-so-much. Maybe Mom can't be the person who she was because that woman wouldn't be able to experience who she is today.
I know that I am not the same person I was this time last year. So much has changed in my physical environment, in my relationships and in me -- my very be-ing. Why would I expect my Mom to be the same person when I'm not? Existence has a funny way of poking its way into Life & making its way to Perspective.
Thanks, Dad, for Perspective.