I believe in love that stays alive in the heart and in the mind despite the world saying it’s time to let go.
My parents were married sixty-one years in August. their relationship is thriving. Although it is pretty much one sided at this point. My fathers death nine years ago has really put a damper on their conversations.
My mothers having a little difficulty transitioning to widowhood. Any day now she’s going to get on with her life. Any moment she’s going to ‘bounce back’. That’s what the books tell her. Her friends tell her that she has to deal with his death and move on. Death is a part of life.
That’s true. It’s the end part.
Our phone conversations go something like this:
“How are you? Are you alright?”
“How can I be alright? My husband is dead.”
My mother is quite an accomplished woman.
She ran a successful Real Estate Agency. She was an Admission Director at a Nursing Home. She loved every minute of it. She was very social.
She was active in her community and she loved her home. She and my father restored a two hundred year old Colonial in a small New England town. They enjoyed entertaining family and friends.
My father died in 1998 and it was pretty much down hill from there. To everyones amazement this woman hit the bed and there
she stays. It’s a wonder that she doesn’t have bed sores by now.
The past few years have been very difficult for my mother. She sold her home and attempted to build a house with my sister, only to lose all her money to an unscrupulous contractor. She then moved into a rented house where she couldn’t keep her dog(he’s with me) or most of her belongings. This was followed by a diagnosis of NPH(Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) which was followed by brain surgery.
She states emphatically “If your father was here none of this would have happened.” Perhaps.
Now, understand that my mother can still be brought back to reality on the subject of my fathers whereabouts and has a wonderful sense of humor. After being reminded that my father is gone, she shakes her head and says”He had some nerve leaving me!’
She called me recently:
“Do you know where your father is?”
“Still dead ”
“Are you sure? Why didn’t anyone tell me? I should have been informed.”
“You were at the funeral”
“I have no memory of that.”
My mother called again yesterday(my numbers on the refrigerator):
“Have you seen your father lately?”
“Mom, have you noticed that he hasn’t been around in awhile?”
“Well, I know he’s been sick and in the hospital. When is he coming home?”
“He’s not. He’s dead.”
“Well, I guess he’s not coming home then.”
This is what I believe..that sometimes there is no ‘bouncing back’. Sometimes grieving doesn’t end.
I believe that love can last a lifetime and sometimes, even longer.
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