I truly forgot what it was like to
Walk beside someone equally
Showing all my flaws
And still the comfort of being myself
Each new layer of warmth
Is capturing me
And I wonder if I will want to remember
Mine are 85, 84, and 81 currently. They walked me through life, giving me everything I could possibly need. Love. Support. Encouragement. And more love.
Now, it’s my turn. All 3 at once need massive amounts of love and care to walk through their life. One with being reminded constantly of everything she used to know, another being reassured that she is not losing her mind, and a third who tries to be the strongest one, but has his body failing on him.
It’s heartbreak of the worst kind.
All you can do is love. Love Love Love, all day, as much as you can. And not forget that you yourself needs love as well walking through the hell of changing diapers, cleaning up spills, counting out pills, preparing dinners and breakfasts, doing laundry, giving hugs, giving encouragement.
I’m so grateful I’ve had the time I’ve had with all of them, one Mom, and her sister, our second Mom. And Dad. Always my Dad, so grateful and loving for anything you do for him. He forgets that he is the one that has provided me with the stubborn will to stay positive, and be kind to everyone you meet. And Mom can’t remember where I learned to give such good hugs, but loves mine, a genetic trait, I’m sure handed down from her. My Aunt has always been on the sidelines, cheering us on, and setting such an example of what it means to love. For me, she’s the inspiration of being the fun single Aunt who gives experiences instead of just gifts. True gifts that last a lifetime.
I’ll have that always, even on the darkest days like today. During the storms like today, when we get tossed from one elder to the next, problems mounting and no end in sight.
These kids deserve every ounce of fight I have in me.
I hate very few things
But watching you struggle
Being stripped of dignity
and I plan
Hoping for the best
And it is one small thing
Unable to succeed at
Anything but love.
That’ll have to do
Because it’s my best
And you always taught me
That my best is good enough.
And you said,
“Walk with me, I want to show you.”
So we walked hand in hand
Out to the barn
And you opened the door to reveal
All the colors you said you saw
That you didn’t know were there
And the sun came in one day
You talked about fate
And how I always see things differently
That I always have something interesting to say
A way of looking
In ways you never consider
But as I talked
You looked from beneath your lashes
With a sadness I couldn’t quite understand
Putting your arm around me
You kissed my shoulder
And thanked me for being me
As we locked the barn
Your eyes stayed there
But you raced me back to the porch
That same light came in the window
That light I saw? Beautiful.
Him: I was just calling to say hi and see how you were.
Me, outside: I’m good. Thanks for calling.
Me, inside: Thanks for calling, today sucked and I’m about to burst into tears.
Him: So what’s new?
Me, outside: Nothing much, I am just making dinner.
Me, inside: Today was a really hard day. Mom and Dad aren’t doing well, found out sister is in a crisis, and brother called feeling suicidal. Plus my head feels like it will physically explode.
Him: Your voice sounds a little…..not like you. You ok?
Me, outside: Yeah, just life moving and shaking.
Me, inside: I think so, but I could just use a big warm hug and someone to tell me it will be ok.
Him: Somehow, I don’t believe you.
Me, outside: Really, I’ll be fine. Just allergies, feeling like I got kicked down a stairwell.
Me, inside: How do you know me so well when you hardly know me?
Him: That’s not good. Do you want me to stop by? Shoulder/Neck massage? Nothing some destressing won’t fix.
Me, outside: I am gross and disgusting and sleeping with a box of kleenex.
Me, inside: If you keep talking like this I will have to marry you just for your kindness. I forgot what it’s like for someone to give a shit about you.
Him: You’re not gross. Shut up. Do something good for yourself for once instead of taking care of everyone else.
Me, outiside: I am. Calling in sick tomorrow to rest. What does me being sick have to do with taking care of everyone else?
Me, inside: I hate that you know me when I didn’t say anything. But you do watch out for me. Maybe I should let you in.
Him: Good for you. Do more of that.
I hate it when my outside and inside voices don’t match.