Monday, March 16, 2009

The story rolls on...

The phone started ringing when I'd barely finished my first cup of vanilla latte, road trip drink par excellence. “Hello? Hello? You are not even going to believe this!” My cousin Cindy was on the line and by the tone of her voice none too happy. “Aunt Carol isn’t going to the funeral!” I sort of sat there a minute, kind of not believing that a mother wouldn’t attend the funeral of her son, no matter that she was able to see him before he passed away and was able to say goodbye in their way. Not going? How can you not go? “Are you sure? I mean, what did she say?” I asked, sort of stumbling on my words. Apparently the new “hubby”, the one with the ceremony and not the license because we don’t want to lose the goodies, had company coming. He didn’t want to tell them that they couldn’t come. I guess in his highly screwed up world when a child dies you don’t want to miss the occasion to hang out with friends coming into town. Idiot! Moron! Somehow that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Quite frankly, I couldn’t call my Mom, not then, not yet. It sort of percolated.

One of the things I try very hard to do is not to judge, to remember that everyone’s life is their own experience and that they do the best at the time with what they have to work with. I know for a fact that I can’t change my Mother’s mind, nor do I try. I also am aware that she is one stubborn woman; it seems to be a family trait that I recognize for what it is. I know that my Mom (gets confusing doesn’t it, I mean the Mom that raised me) would laugh and say that such stubbornness does not come from her side of the family! No, she was far more refined. We will not speak about jumping on the furniture while speaking one of her only two phrases of Spanish, or how she could get in trouble with the best of them. Gosh, I miss her.

By the time I spoke with Mom, she was upset and in a sort of panic over the whole thing. “Nobody understands that I have to support my husband!” Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Okey dokey. See there goes that whole judgment thing right out the window. “Mom, first of all, you really have to just forget what you think anybody thinks about you, it’s really a big waste of time.” She sniffled into the other end of the phone. “You tell me that you were able to say your goodbyes and that you can’t go to the funeral. What else is up?” Her reply kind of took my breath away when she said “Well hubby doesn’t want to tell his friends that they can’t come and he got so mad that he said if he had someplace else to go he would!” More sniffles, and to tell the truth I kind of felt bad for her. You see, at any age that first hot flush of love and passion can die out when you get the Real Picture. Not that I’m judging or anything but I think the mister’s deal was that he hit the Mother Lode. He got to move out of his little park model and into a nice big house with a pretty lady with a big bank account. And we all know and have flat out whispered about the fact that he was pretty quick about quitting his job at Wal*Mart. Fairly crappy when you think about it and I don’t mind telling you that I’m six ways of pissed off about the whole thing. “Mom, honey, you have to do what you have to do. You have to make the very best decision you can and live with it”. The sigh from the phone was palpable. Poor baby, I really felt bad for her. “Mom, I can’t make this decision for you. I think you should go, you do what you must.” And she mumbled her agreement and she got off the phone telling me she’d call later. Time warp forward to a point after the funeral and this is one sad and miserable woman. Her hubby was a jerk who had no right to ask her to do that, apparently he feels badly about it. Not bad enough if you ask me---- damn there goes that judgment thing again. I feel horrible for her, the gild is not only off the lily of love (so to speak) but in whatever twist of mind made her decide not to go to her son’s funeral is going to be an absolute bitch to live with.

My head still spinning with all things family we rode for awhile listening to “Very V*alentine” (fab-u-lous) and lamented the fact that the further we got away from home the more expensive gas became.

When I drive through that part of the country I get a happy little thrill when going through Monteagle Tennessee. When I was a girl and our family would load the station wagon for vacation it always involved a trip through the mountains. Monteagle is the peak of that particular stretch of road and the vistas are exceptional. Years ago we’d stop for country ham on little biscuits that my Father dreamed all year long about. Now I think it is another restaurant entirely and it was so foggy we were afraid to pull off the road and see if those little biscuits might still be on the menu.

With Atlanta in our sights we pulled into a great weekend deal at the H*ilton., all those businessmen are home leaving the rest of us with lodging we can afford. Nice little suite, excellent soft bed and friendly folks. The other shoe did not drop until the local weatherman said that snow was in the forecast. Yes indeedy. Snow. In Atlanta in mid March. Yikes.

The dogs ran for the bed............ at home they can't scale the heights without help so they just helped themselves. Ah, king sized too! Delightful!

With the alarm clock set to a very un-vacationly time of 6:30 a.m. it was time to head out to try and beat the snow. The word “try” should be noted, there was not snow on the ground but it flurried and blew and snowed almost all the way to Florida. (Where my daughter, She the Difficult One, chose to pop in for a surprise visit). Perhaps the snow was just the beginning of hell freezing over.

More later……….


yoel said...

Aren't pets wonderful, I mean, really?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it weird when the older generation behaves less maturely than we think they should? You are so right to realize you can't fix things for loved ones, but I know there is still the (natural) urge to want to make it all right.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Tina I'm sorry about all the family drama going on. I for one dont know how anyone could skip a funeral for their own son. But that's just me and I'm not there to see why. own son?? I'd never ever miss. Couldnt live with myself.

Jenny Girl said...

unfortunately, parents turn into children at a certain age...there is just nothing you can do about it. Do what you have to and just be there for your mom.
I would definitely try to make sure your Mom doesn't get swindled or something. Make sure she is protected.