Writing 101: Day 13
Part II of “Loss Squared”
It doesn’t matter how old you are – your mom is your mom and she will treat you like a little kid who knows nothing. Especially when you are living under her roof again.
I was 54-years young when I moved in with mom to help sis take care of her. Mom could not get over how I forgot where the glasses were kept. Or the cooking utensils, pots, linens – whatever. She and dad had moved away in 1989, so her current house was not the house(s) I grew up in.
I was suddenly only 12-years old. I didn’t know how to cook, clean, do laundry . Luckily, I could drive. Sis had lost her driver’s license, and mom could not miss getting her weekly Lotto tickets at the liquor store. If not for that, we would live off of what Safeway delivered.
I also got crap from sis because when I did the dishes I didn’t always put them away in the right place. What the heck had happened to her? Sis was wound tighter than a slinky. She seemed angry and depressed all the time, which wasn’t new, but she didn’t even try to hide it anymore. Was living with mom for 2 years the reason?
After the first few months, I began to feel the strain of a care-giver. After my arrival, sis could let her hair down and relax. She ‘relaxed’ way too much, and now I was taking care of both of them.
I missed my house and my hubby! I missed sleeping in a real bed. Both bedrooms were occupied, so it was the couch for me. My clothing and items I brought with me were stored behind said couch. I did not have the guts to rearrange mom’s bedroom to accommodate my things. Or start packing up things in the house. How rude would that be?
We were all perfectly aware that her condition was terminal. Her ‘arrangements’ were all taken care of. Mom went over the instructions on how she wanted us to handle everything. Like which of her grandchildren got what. I was surprised to learn she owned a Krugerrand. It belongs to her youngest great-grandchild now.
I think my fondest memories are the times sis and I climbed into mom’s fancy Sleep Number bed and got a massage while watching our (taped daily) soaps. Mom and sis even had ‘rules’ about soap watching time, like get your soda, pillow, knitting & whatever, and go potty before we start, because we fast-forward through ads and we don’t like to pause and wait for anybody.
All-righty then. I had stopped watching our soaps years ago. Then they sucked me back in! I couldn’t tell you what was going on in the soaps, but thinking about all of us crammed into mom’s bed talking, bitching, and laughing at the stupidity going on, remains imprinted in my heart.
Mom now watched (and somehow sis got recruited into watching) Japanese soap operas, of all things. I kept my mouth shut about it – I have my own eccentricities. Like blogging. I have to admit that although the constant yelling in Japanese gave me a headache, they were entertaining to watch. Even the subtitles were funny.
I have never regretted spending my mom’s last months, living as a kid under her roof. I don’t think it was easy on any one of us, but I am so glad we could all be a family again – at least for a little while.