Jul 8, 2013

Dear Mom: The List

Dear Mom,

It's been 5 months since you died.  I used to think about the time when my life would not be wrapped up in taking care of you.  I had plans.  Those plans got me through some rough moments.  I made lists in my head waiting in the icy cold ER for whatever test results were taking so long.  Lots of lists.  Fun lists that I could not tackle because I was so very busy making you Ensure milkshakes and counting out your pills.

So now I'm not making those milkshakes anymore, but I still have the lists.  I have not traveled, signed up for aquatic exercise, taken that watercolor class, opened an Etsy shop, read books, or gone out for dinner after work.  (Ok, I read one book.)

I come home and crash and think about everything I want to do but don't because it is too expensive and then there will be no money to retire or maybe the parking lot is too far from the class and it will be dark when it lets out and then maybe it is dangerous.  No matter that it is summer and light until 9 and a perfectly lit parking lot in a safe area or that I've been saving for retirement for a very long time.  Nope, nothing is safe.  It is all just one big scary risky thing.  Better to watch Housewives and think about the list.

I did manage to find the time to check online about why my finger nails have these ridges now and saw that it is a "sign of aging."  I have a lot of those signs.  You were right. Getting old isn't pretty.  But it is what is left.  Watching my nails develop ridges while I click on the remote isn't working out. 

And there are no Ensure milkshakes to blame anymore.  Just the inside the head junk that found too much room to grow.  I'm working on getting rid of the junk and doing things.  Yes, I know your first thought will be negative -- yes, I know I might fail.  Let's just stop thinking that way and take a chance.  Because it didn't take that much time to make those milkshakes.  There was time then and there is time now. 

I'll let you know how it's going.

Love, Joan


Kristen said...

You can do it Joan! I just came in from walking a half mile with the kids - not much but it is better than sitting with the remote. Repeated Little steps here and there all build up to big changes.

Susan Raihala said...

Don't we all have junk in our heads that needs clearing out? But you can do this like Kristen said, in little steps. And what you're going through is perfectly normal after a loss. Emerging from grief and depression takes time, but it will happen. Making cards again is a sure sign of that!

Jeanne said...

I hope your writing this letter helped - I write in my journal when things get tough and know it helps me gain perspective. Thanks Joan for sharing. You're the best!

Jennifer Scull said...

life is all about the choices we make - big choices and little choices. how we choose to respond to things that happen around us or to us. in the lists that you made, were any of those things stuff that would have made you happy or were they more just a way to pass the time while you sat waiting for this or that test to be over?

I am so glad you put all of this down in writing and then shared with us. it helps so much to be able to get it all out. sometimes you just need to be brave and 'do' as opposed to thinking about it. be spontaneous. call up hubby as you are heading out the door from work and ask him to meet you somewhere for dinner. the fact that you are crafting again says so much.

you are a survivor, Joan. and you are not alone. you are surrounded by a wealth of friends who are pulling for you, who love you, and want only the very best for you.

so glad to see you blogging again! sending you the biggest hug I have! :)

Colleen said...

I make lists and then find them overwhelming and paralizing. So I'll share what has worked for me... Choose one thing from your list to do and commit to give it just 15 minutes. If, after 15 minutes, you don't want to continue, you're done. Almost always I find myself motivated to do a bit more. It gets me moving.