April 11, 2015
The Saturday before the third open house. Two days after I expected an offer before I left town.......
I have balled up all my emotions this afternoon and squeezed them back into my cubby holes somewhere inside my chest. They have been leaking out all day today. If I could have just finalized an offer to let me move on to the next phase of this move, I could have held back the tidal waves. That didn’t happen so I had to actually look at my life as it actually is for this present moment in time....and deal with the realities. Let’s see
I am walking in the footsteps of my mother. She had to move out of San Jose by herself. Sell “her world” out there to be able to come here with bare necessities. Sell her house by herself without support from Pete or me and certainly not advice from any man. She probably was sick at the time but chose not to mention that fact to either of us. And she had to re-establish her existence in Fairfield: new friends, new Bridge partners, new neighbors, new bank, new doctors, new house, new furniture. She had not lived in the same town with either of our families which may have caused her a moment or two of angst about how it would work to fit us into her “busy” schedule and her into ours. Most startling is that she moved here when she was 75 and died when she was 77. If I am walking in my mother’s shoes, am I now in the winter of my life?
The biggest waves of emotion are not because I am leaving Fairfield, or Tami, or the church, tennis, or friends. I have been reconciling to that reality for 3 years and I am ok with the logic of moving. It is the right time. Now I know the place, and it is good. I am sure that God is pleased with my decision to go. The biggest chest pressing, breath shaking, stomach clenching reality is that this chapter is over. This phase of my life is over. And I don’t know what lies ahead. How did I get here? What happened to my youth. Did I make the right decisions years ago. The reality that it is over and I can never go back was daunting today. It was one of those days, that if I allowed myself to cry, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
So what did I do? I recognized that emotions needed to be dealt with. Letting them continue to leak all over my life makes life decisions messy. I left the house and did something that I know works very well to calm me down: drove to McDonald’s and ate a hot fudge sundae and a quarter pounder with cheese. While it was kicking in, I drove all over the area of town where my mother lived, even parked in front of her house. The laughter echoed; the ghostly visions of family gathered in the yard for her 75th birthday party circled around on the front lawn.
I looked at all the smaller three bedroom homes in that area and understood that I was walking in her footsteps. But what did it mean. Logically, I realize that I am not sick, I have many things yet to do, and I have a zest for life. I will probably not be checking out in two years as she did. That helped to understand.
After talking to a dear friend, I was able to categorize the various types of emotions. Identifying them individually helped me to lasso them back into control. Mostly it helped for someone to appreciate that an emotional outburst is normal and not necessarily connected or ameliorated by good logic. All the logic in the world may be ineffective when big changes in our lives allow a typhoon of “what if’s” to escape and cloud our vision and purpose.
I am back to clear vision and direct purpose: get the house clean for the open house tomorrow. I got this.
I frequently speak to various caregiver groups, and would love to see as many people as possible. Come share your stories with me and the rest of the group.
I can’t tell you how wonderful your book is!!!!... -- Diana Waugh (geriatric nurse consultant)