They say ‘You can’t go home again’. Especially true when you don’t really have a place other than where you live that you identify as ‘home’. But, in this particular moment, I am thinking of the home one grows up in. That physical place is long gone for me. Torn down (figuratively) the year I graduated high school. Although I never really lived there (but spent many an idyllic summer), I suppose I could count my grandparents’ place in Upstate New York a home of sorts. I still sortve have the desire to buy the place back some day but I am sure that it would no longer feel the same since, realistically, it was the people, not the place, that made it what it was.
Nowhere my Dad has ever lived was home to me. I have memories of the house he lived in for years when I was growing up, a place he acquired from my grandparents. There are a lot of pictures taken in that house but there’s something about it that always felt creepy to me. Maybe it’s just the age that I was when I spent time there and the fact that I was a rather odd child. I’ve never even stayed in the house he lives in now. The one time I went to visit him, he had me stay with a friend of his. (That was pretty much the epitome of dysfunctional family crapola, right there).
And, I’ve never lived where my Mom lives now, although I have thought about where I would put things if I did live there. But the mortgage isn’t assumable, I don’t have the assets to buy the place even if it was and while I would be ok work-wise living anywhere, I am pretty sure it would not be a picnic for Mr.POSSLQ to find work there.
So, why is this all on my mind? Well, last December was my Mom’s 80th birthday. I went to visit her and had planned to do an ‘early Christmas’ with Mom, my Aunties and The Girl. But, The Girl was having some sort of existential crisis and nothing went as planned. Don’t ask me WHY, but I had this nagging voice telling me that it might be my last chance to spend Christmas with all of us together. There wasn’t anything in particular going on, it was just this weird gut feeling.
Got an email from Mom last night. She’s been sick. (Note here… don’t go asking Dr. Google about someone’s symptoms when they tell you that they’re sick because you will probably not walk away feeling positive about things). It’s entirely possible that this is just a little hiccup and one of those things that happens when you get older. My Gramma used to pull the ‘this may be the last time I see you’ card out pretty much every time I was leaving after I turned about 10 years old and I was…30ish when she passed away so…I’m trying to tell myself there’s no point in getting worked up about something that could be nothing. And realistically, there is absolutely nothing I can do, even if I was there and I am pretty sure it would just be more stressful for my Mom to have me there being a basketcase.
Here’s the thing, though. I had hoped that, at some point before my Mom went off to the Great Beyond that I would be able to accomplish SOMETHING in my life that would make her proud of me. And I’ve completely failed at that. I figured out a long time ago that there is absolutely no way I will ever do anything that will make my Dad proud of me, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, there was a hope that I could pull it off and do something my Mom would be proud of… and if this does take a turn for the worse, that will be my biggest regret in life. That I never managed to do anything to make my Mom proud. (And I don’t mean small stuff that all parents are proud of when their little kid accomplishes it… like your first step or your first day of school. I am talking a Major Life Accomplishment that is outside of the realm of ‘milestones pretty much everyone achieves’).
I know that no one lives forever. And I’ve been mentally preparing for ‘what if….’ for the last 5 years now. This is one of the very few times in my life when I regret being an only child. Because there is no one else for me to share this whole journey with. Whether I like it or not, I walk this path alone. And I’m not ready.