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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

They don't make them like that anymore

The past month of my life has been the worst ever.  Worse than the days when my ex husband lost his job and we were living on a prayer, worse than when my 10 year old had cancer (yes, worse than that), worse than my divorce (which was actually a piece of cake- I only mention it because most people say it's one of the top 5 most stressful things in life).  I have hesitated writing during this time because my family is very private and I know it freaks them out that I share my feelings the way I do.  So be it.  I won't go into details.  However, in the past month I flew to Florida to take care of my terminally ill mom with my daughter and left my sons back home.  I had to cut my trip short because of an emergency with my oldest son and 10 days after I left my mom passed away.  God always has a plan and as it turns out it was best I left and went home because my daughter should not have been there while my mom declined so rapidly.  Also, my brother flew down and he was definitely the best person to be with my dad during those last days, even though it was extremely hard on him.  Then my sister went down and again, at the perfect time to help my dad with all the legal paperwork, handling everything fairly and efficiently.  And now I am here again to help my dad discover his new normal without the love of his life.  The rest of my family will be here in a few days for my moms private memorial service.  Just the 15 of us, together, to put my mom to rest.  I don't even believe that's real as I type it.  I will remain for another 8 days after everyone leaves.

I thought coming into the house without her being here would hit me like a ton of bricks.  It didn't.  It's so strange.  Cooking in her kitchen, which I've done dozens of times brought me to my knees, however.  I felt her with me every step.  I couldn't ask her where anything was, I had to think like she did, Thankfully no one came in the kitchen and saw the tears flowing down my face.  I missed her.  I went into her closet yesterday when no one was around and I smelled her clothes hoping for a last whiff of her scent.  I broke down crying when I realized it wasn't there.  She had been sick so long the house was stripped of that beautiful scent that was my mom.  No one knows what I mean, it's not a lotion, or soap or perfume.  It was HER.  My younger son and my daughter know what I mean. He's arriving tomorrow and I wonder how it will feel to him.  My daughter was in the bathroom talking to her Ya ya the other day, tears flowing down her face.  She said she saw her and could feel her arms around her.  It was sad and comforting at the same time.

Yesterday my dad found a feather by his bed.  I know my mom waited until I was with him to send it.  She knew I'd know what it was.  He was so full of disbelief and wonder.  But it did the trick, he heard my mom last night and I believe the healing can begin for him.  We went to the mall yesterday and my dad, my daughter and I all felt my mom with us. I went walking this morning with tears running down my face but she was with me and gave me some great advice.  I deserve a man like my dad.  I deserve to be treasured and loved and adored the way she was.  Point taken mom.  I will start to value myself more and not give my love to someone who doesn't want it.  Watching my dad grieve my mom and hearing stories about how my ex father in law has been grieving his wife this past year just breaks my heart.  It hurts me on so many levels.  Things in that generation were different.  Spouses were partners in life.  There was no competition to see who did more or who was busier.  They each had their roles and they relied on each other knowing that the other partner would be there no matter what.  I want that.  I don't think they "sweated the small stuff" or blamed each other for things the way people do nowadays.  They took responsibility for their part in the relationship.   I want that.  My father and my exes dad are lost without their mates.  You can see the sadness in their eyes and hear the love in their voices when they speak of them.  My dad's neighbor (who I have fallen in love with and adopted her as part of our family) still gets choked up when she talks about her husband who passed away 5 years ago.  She misses him terribly.  She has learned to move on, which I pray my dad does, but she says she still hurts.  She talks about him with such love and devotion.  I want that.  Things were just different 60 years ago.  My ex husband and I have been working much better as a team with the kids during this past month.  It's sad that the love is gone but at least the bitterness and anger are gone too.   So many people I know are still married and wish they werent'.  I don't think these people are mourning their spouses because it's been 60 years of marriage, I think it was just the way their partnerships were created.  There was respect of each other.  Women were treated like treasures and men were respected and taken care of by them.  It worked.   Spouses back then put each other first, not their children and I think that (along with women's lib in the 70s) drastically changed the status of relationships forever and not in a good way.  I know once my son was born my marriage took a back seat,  granted it's because I wasn't happily married in the first place, but still I know I am not alone in that.  Your spouse is the one you will grow old with (if you're lucky) and once your children leave and have their own lives the one you pledge I do to should still be someone you want to spend time with.  My daughter and I were discussing this.  She is taking it all in like a sponge.  She said to me, mommy maybe it's better to not have love like that so your heart isn't so broken when it's taken away.  Maybe she's right, but I pray that someday she finds that love and it takes her breath away.  And I pray she finds someone who treats her like a queen and a treasure and she treats him like a king and I pray I get to see it.
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