“Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose?” Eliza Dushku
I awakened at my parent’s house in the room that was mine just seven short years ago. I jostle my mind from feeling like I have entered a time warp. Parents’ home holds my mom and dad daily; as they are hanging in their nineties, it hosts them sweetly.
They are not the same as seven years ago; the natural decline of age is showing. They now have a hard time moving when they used to walk for miles. They are being influenced by some of their mentally ill children. Undue influence affects them daily, and my only recourse is to accept their choices and try to deal with my grief by having a seat watching the sad show.
They are amazing humans, but the toll of the years is evident, inevitable, making me profoundly sorrowful and helpless. There are things you can not change and must accept that are my internal battle.
When I visit their home, it seems to hold my past. My moments living with my folks when I was middle-aged and empty-nesting was as bizarre as being trapped in a dream. I left the nest, raised my children, and rented my home; I ended up at my folk’s home. They offered me a smaller room than my childhood room, or maybe I was just way bigger?
At that time, seven years ago, my life felt like an emotional-yellow slip-and-slide, not knowing where the end would be. I fought against it much like a teenager. My grown self did not need to revisit that youth in me, but she sure as hell showed up. Living under my parent’s roof triggered every sassy-mouth-moment I had left in me. Showing up as a rebellious self did not fit my grown-up self. My behavior was a waste of emotion as I was indeed a grown woman.
Then the ticket out. I was offered a paying job riding horses in Santa Barbara. My first love was horses, and moving to Santa Barbara placed me back into a grown-up life, reconnecting with my grown-up self. I found a sweet duplex downtown on Victoria Street and was living alone for the first time in my life!
I had moved about my whole life living with others much like a nomadic gypsy. I write about my adventures and experience, identity crisis/empty-nesting, in the second book of the series “A House for Every Purpose, My Journey from Pillow to Pillow.” It will be released this year, hopefully. To have a book properly edited takes a team and time.
Anyhoo, that was my journey.
If we are lucky enough, we can see our parent’s age. It is precious, sad, and telling. Is it a mirror into myself and my fate of aging? Every time I visit them, I go through a gamut of emotions; I suppose that is normal as well.
I do know that elderly care is expensive, and hard to find a loving caregiver that is licensed, thoughtful, and knows what to do.
As I cook for them and sit with them to play bridge and sip on a wee bit of wine, we can giggle and reminisce. It makes the trip from Santa Barbara and leaving my grown-up world worth it.
I will try to ride the proverbial slip and slide that awaits me when I find myself in Orange County and enjoy every moment I have with them. Life is the fastest slowing-moving thing ever.
Blessing to you and your families.
My Mantra: “Family: the original “F” word.”
*Mantra is not to be repeated in prayer; it is cheeky steam coming off a week “in my old room.”
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