John has an earthquake app on his iphone. It tells you how when and where and the magnitude of earthquakes all over the world. Every day I get to hear that there was a 6.8 in Peru, or a 4.2 in Ireland. Just a few minutes ago he let me know that the most recent earthquake occurred in Lincolnton, GA. Then he asked me if I even knew that there was a Lincolnton, GA. And I sighed and told him that yes, I know about L-town, GA because that's where Mama and Daddy got married. I didn't say "duh", but it was obviously implied. All my life, I've heard these stories. Where and how my parents met, where and why they married. I know the stories and the circumstances and the surroundings. To this day, I beg people to tell me stories. Let me know what your life is like. Tell me a good little yarn. Or even a bad one. John got me thinking though. For the past few weeks I've been struggling with some familial issues. I've found myself slowly sinking into a muddy pit of self-pity.
My parents are old.
Maybe not so much in the numbers area. Because I know lots of spry folk in their late 60's/early 70's. But physically, they're old. Not only do they not get around like they used to, but there are times when they just don't get around at all. Their lives revolve around doctors appointments and trips to the pharmacy. My daddy is still the same sweet daddy. Full of advice and information and love and support. I love him so much it makes me glad in my heart. And I love my mama so much it makes me cry. Because in the past few years, I've watched her slip away. She lives in a percocet laden world of pain. Sometimes she doesn't hear the answer to the question. Sometimes she hears it, but needs to have it repeated. And once more. There are days when I'm sad after talking to her. There are, more often, days when I'm angry after talking to her. Because really, there's no talking. There's only listening. I know that the anger is really just poorly disguised fear. I fear that I've lost her. This woman who was once a force to be reckoned with. Oh, she's still there in bits and pieces. But usually not when I really need her. I think maybe I'm just grieving a little bit. Not full-fledged in your face grief. Just the subtle, sneak up on you in the shower kind.
It can sort of all be summed up with a quote from Meredith Winn : "I am from the stories I heard but never loved until I heard them no more."