There comes a time in all our lives where the tables are turned and we become the caregiver for our parents.
My mom pointed this out to me a few days ago as I fed her in the hospital. She’s listless while suffering from illness, and it’s just easier for me to help her out.
Tonight, not surprisingly, while spooning in ice cream and watermelon, I couldn’t help but think of The Clockwork Orange as she opened her mouth for food.
I’ve been back in my childhood home for more than two weeks now, an unexpected turn of events. But I have the flexibility my sister doesn’t. I don’t have children; I have friends helping me out back home. I have a job that is mostly on the interwebz so whether I’m working with a mask on in room 1413 or in my office matters little.
My mom’s 86. I know I won’t have her forever. But I fight to stave off death and grief just one more year. One more year, I tell myself. Give me that. Next year, I’ll say the same.
The truth is I know I can’t hold it back. The last five years have been a cycle of grief: from my dad to Bailey, the dog to Chance the cat, to Adam. All of those in the span of two years, and then it’s just recovery. I wonder, once this hits you, are you always in recovery? Is it the best you can do to hold off grief as long as you can so you only have to be in recovery for a few years, not half your life?
This house, tucked away on a beautiful cul-de-sac, is a reminder of all I’ve lost… pictures of dad, well, fuck his URN is here! Plus, of course ,mom has many pics of my wedding up. They loved Adam, too. Everyone did.
I don’t look too hard behind the dark corners of this home. I don’t want to find many memories (well, or spiders). But I don’t have to go far because they scream at me.
I turn back to writing when my grief is strong, when I can’t stand to go another minute without putting something down. I guess it is now. Grief is a bitch. Recovery is a never-ending battle. You push back against life and say “just stop, please. Leave me alone.”
But it never does.