Friday, May 09, 2008

It’s been a year filled with emotional and sometimes turbulent life changes. I’ve been every bit the Cancer-tankerous Mommy I wrote about in the book- only this time it’s not cancer or Meds- it’s just me being my mean ole self.

My husband’s career had us in Texas last summer, but before summer had ended he was on his way to Alabama, and the kids and I back to North Carolina. We’re together, we’re just not living together- we’re a commuter family. When he’s not flying to North Carolina, I’m flying to Alabama or Florida where my parents live.

Our daughter, Tabitha graduated high school mid-semester this year, and enrolled in college. I feel fortunate; somehow I’ve managed not to run her off- yet. North Carolina State where she attends college is just a short distance, and Tabitha lives at home. She is majoring in psychology and plans to be a Psychiatrist. Not a surprise-she’s already done the research- as life with her own family isn’t always easy.

Some of my friends have confessed they couldn’t wait for their kids to leave the nest- I’m not one of them. I've been advised to enjoy the moments I have now, but I haven't taken that advice. I’ve been down right bitchy about it. My husband made the mistake of attempting to make me feel better by reminding me, in two years both children would be in college, and we could easily move to wherever his career takes him. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I was thinking it would be the first time we’d move without our kids. It didn’t make me happy!

I could pretend as a cancer survivor, I am exempt from such feelings, because I realize how lucky I am to have had these years- watch my children grow up, and grow old with the ones I love- but I would be lying.

I am grateful, to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, surrounded by my children, and with the knowledge my mother is still with me, but this year I got a glimpse of life without them, and was not prepared.

My mother, Amelia Patricia Solomon a.k.a. Granny Pat of Walnut Hill, Florida is alive, and while not completely well, is finally home after months in a hospital, and is recovering from a near fatal bout of Bacterial Meningitis diagnosed as Pneumococcal Meningitis.

I will not forget my mother looking at me, her only daughter, without recognition. Nor will I forget the the moment I knew she recognized me. In a year filled with heart wrenching good byes- what a relief when my mamma said hello.

This year I said good bye to my paternal aunt, Juanita Pacetti- a best friend, confidante and on occasion surrogate mother. High School graduation meant saying good bye to my little girl; all too soon she’s become a young woman. Faced with my mother’s life threatening illness, I was forced to say good bye to my own childish self. Abruptly, my siblings, and I were required to face facts- our parents are elderly, and we are now the grown ups.

It's been a year filled with emotional and turbulent life changes. I would like to write I have handled them with dignity, grace, and courage- but the older I get the less inclined I feel to whitewash the truth.

I’ve had to say good bye to people, places, and parts of myself that can no longer exist.
Undignified, inept, and scared is how I’ve felt much of the year.

Recently my 16 year old son, Jordan told me, (after a brief outing where I sat in the passenger seat while he drove) “You’re like one of those really old people who appear to be crazy – but it’s because they’re so old. Only you do it, and you’re not even that old- YET! You’re just crazy.”
Well at least I'm not a sissy.

One of the Mother’s Day cards I purchased this year reads- Mother’s Day Is Not For Sissies.
No, it's for women like me and the one who mothered me.

Happy Mother's Day Granny Pat!