I am wearing my pajama’s again and my Mom’s slippers and I feel justifiably grateful that it is storming and cold outside so that I can stay in my pajamas for the rest of the day because I was going to anyways. I have been in them all weekend except church this morning and I have been in them every day after school. When I am at school all I want to do is get through the day so I can go home and put on my pajama’s. I have been so grateful for the cold and rain it fits my mood and I can wrap up in my grey robe-wrap as I sit and watch TV or just sit. When I do get up I shuffle through the house in my Mom’s purple slippers, the last new pair she ever wore.
I know it is a new year and I should be embracing all the new possibilities but I don’t want to. It feels like too much most of the time. I think I need to write a blog about our little miracle rental house, I should write a blog about my Mom, I should be starting Diet 1,000 and I should be walking again to get ready for my grandson who will arrive in the late spring. I think I should be dreaming dreams for our lives and taking the next step and moving forward. I should be embracing the new year. I should be helping my sister take care of my Dad more. There are a lot of “shoulds” at the beginning of the new year. But when I think these things I come to the same place… I just really want to put on my pajama’s.
Saturday after cleaning the house, I got in the shower with the intention of going to the grocery store and running a few of the other errands that need to be done before the work week but I just started crying and realized I could not face getting dressed to run those errands. So, I called for my husband who had just returned home from speaking at a men’s breakfast and said I can’t go to the store…I just want to put on my pajama’s. I was crying and dripping wet at the same time pretty much. Of course he would go and of course whatever I needed and its OK honey…You don’t have to do anything. I got it. So, I put on my pajamas and after I dried my hair I made my way to the living room to try and articulate these little bits of thoughts that I had been thinking and connect them with other things I had already told him because I knew I needed to say some things out loud before I never leave the house again and pajamas become my only reason for living.
So, I started with this…I think part of me finally feels l have come to the end of a very long road, that there is at last some stability. But the last 3 months of this 4-year journey have just about killed me. That the quiet solicitude that this darling little miracle rental house (which is in every way an incredible miraculous thing that I would like to describe in glorious detail but I just can’t find the creativity to do it) has allowed me to stop clenching my stomach due to the anxiety of facing each new horrendous hurdle that had to be faced and overcome. Like I have finished a long and arduous marathon. A lot of other things spilled out too… they were words I needed to say
I told him I couldn’t understand how I have moments of tears but I don’t have that anguished longing for my Mom. I had said out loud the unthinkable, the most secret of truths but I needed to say it. I explained that when I talked to people about the night she died I always get teary and that I have worn her slippers nonstop since my sister gave them to me but I don’t cry when I put them on or any other time really. He reminded me that grief is personal that everyone’s journey is different. He spoke truth to my heart because he knows my journey. I felt better and it allowed my thoughts to clarify what I had been thinking and helped me process more about my Mom.
The truth is that I feel relief, deep abiding grateful relief about my Mom’s death because:
· She never had a day when she did not know us. Her Alzheimer’s had robbed her of her short-term memory but she still knew my Dad and all of us.
· She was not going to have to stay in a rest home, she had always hated the thought of that sooo much.
· We were all there with her when she died. My Dad sat next to her and all 6 of us her 3 biological kids and the in-laws who have been married to her children for so long that they now were hers too. For so many years my sister and I lived far away, but we were here to stand at her side as she left this world for Heaven.
· That although she did have cardiac arrest for the most part her passing was peaceful.
· The Mother that had been there for me when I became a Mom had been gone for a long time, I had been saying goodbye for a long time.
When your Mother dies, there is an expectation of anguished sorrow, and I have seen that in others that have lost their Mom but I have not had that sobbing moment, that horrified realization that she is gone for good. What I feel is a deep overwhelming sense of gratitude that her suffering is over that she died the way she wanted too, before my Dad and with all of us around her. I guess shuffling around the house in her slippers is my own form of grief.
The last 3 months have been overwhelming, moving during Thanksgiving break, finalizing my permanent CA credential, grieving with our Son over the loss of his job, overwhelming issues at work on behalf of others, my Mom’s death, the holidays and all the political stuff has just made me long for my pajama’s, my little house and my Mom’s slippers.
I realized that I need to ease into this new year, I need to give myself permission to just be, to give myself the space I need to exhale.
It is good to know that the Mom in me still has some sense of purpose because I did start my commitment to green tea, I was talking alone with Taylor and he asked me in all seriousness to start drinking green tea in place of diet coke that he needs me to be around for his baby and that I need to take care of myself. He also asked me if I was OK when we were sitting on the beach and because he is a Man and wise beyond his years I told him the truth about some things…Mom to Man Son. It felt good to do that, it is what perhaps kept me out of my pajama’s until after the holidays, well and my older Man Son walking alongside me hugging me and holding me close.
And so, I have 2 days a week switched out my Diet Coke for green tea, I think that is all the movement forward I have in me currently but at least it is something.
Happy 2017 to you. Enjoy your brave new horizons, new goals and all that moving forward. If you need a break from all of that come by my house I will fix you some green tea, and let you borrow some pajama’s but I won’t be sharing my Mom’s slippers.