There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Monday, May 25, 2009

Musings of an old lady

I've had a strange string of thoughts for the last two days.....I don't expect anyone to follow, I am just thinking outblog. I'll figure it out eventually.

After talking to one of my kids I thought, I have become useless to my children....I can't help them anymore, I can't guide them, I can't be the consummate enabler, basically I am finished mothering. (Not that I was ever a "good" mother at all. I wasn't. My children grew up in the most dysfunctional family in the entire United States, and have fathers that are the poster boys for self destruction.)

This bothered me. I felt like it was time to hang it up, crawl into the coffin and make dust to dust. Then I thought about the conversation I had with one of my kids and I had said something about not wanting to die before I saw my grandchildren grow up. I didn't want to be forgotten by a grandchild that was so young they wouldn't remember me. And that particular kid of mine said, Mom, you may not live to see all of them become adults. But, they will carry a part of you forever. You will live on in them. You won't be forgotten. Oh but my dear kid, I will. Eventually. We all will.

Then today I told Steve I felt like I had outlived my usefulness and he said.....I hope we have. He went on to tell me that we have raised good kids. They will encounter problems as adults, but all we can do is hope we have given them the tools to figure out how to correct those problems and be there to listen. He is right but, only this one time.

I know there must be generational traits, quirks and perhaps emotions that are passed and passed and passed on. Logically I know that everyone dies. But, I don't want to. I don't want to stop loving my kids, my grand kids, Steve. I don't want to leave my pets, I don't want to ever stop getting up in the morning and hear squirrels and watch the deer eat my flowers. I don't want to.

How can all of my feelings, my memories, my ability to love and not love so much, to cry, laugh and feel happy and sad just go poof? How can that be? How? Isn't there a repository some place for my feelings so after I am gone I can bip over and tap into that place and get them back? And why is it that I can't fix things when my kids are sad or feeling loss or or need something that I can't figure out? Do they feel that they don't need me? I won't ask them....I don't want to hear the answer. Why can't I snap my fingers and make their world OK again....like restoring your computer when it screws up....or you screw it up?

I know I have chewed on this stuff before and of course there is no answer....things, events, whatevers will be what they will be. No control, no fix its, I'm gonna go poof, become one of those old photos in a collection, the world will continue to turn, children will grow up without my incessant worrying, blah and blah, blah, blah.

Makes no sense I know. I am just feeling a bit lost at the moment....and baring it all here in blogger land so someone can stumble upon this and think What the hell is wrong with this woman? Maybe I am feeling this way because my grandson is all grown up and really a responsible man; maybe because my kids continue to struggle in spite of my worrying or because of my past actions or lack thereof; maybe this is cosmic; maybe the stars are confused.......it is what it is and I am looking for it. I think I will actually hit Publish Post. I'm off to California for the graduation. Be back in a week probably more confused than ever.



15 comments:

Miss Healthypants said...

I'm betting that California will actually help clear your mind a little--I hope. *smiles*

Everyone feels this way now and then--but believe me, if the blogosphere is any indication, you have made many lives richer because of your writing--so you do continue to be useful in your life. :)

And I suggest reading "The Power of Inspiration" by Dr. Wayne Dyer. There is a section in there called "Your Own Death" or something like that. It gave me MUCH comfort. :)

Take care, Rosemary. I'll be thinking of you. :)

Mom said...

I hear exactly what you are saying. I frequently feel very much the same way.My kids love me, but they don't me like they did when they were little. I do all sorts of volunteer work to make me feel useful, but it is really just a time filler. Being a mother is really who I am and that role has passed. I often think of my mom and how terribly I still miss her. She was always the first person I wanted to call and share whatever the news of the moment was. I am like that for my kids. they need in the background of their lives. They share their life with me, but I'm in the background. They don't need me daily.When I die they will miss me, but they will carry on with their busy lives. I believe in heaven and look forward to the great reunion of those I love, but it hard to think about just being gone like a puff of wind.
Have a great visit in California. Love your kids and let them love you each precious minute you have.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so out of sorts. I don't have any answers or advice. I do suspect that I will definitely be in your shoes when my kids are grown and out of the house...

Barb said...

Rosemary! You are a wonderful caring loving person and if your kids and grandkids don't see that, then it's their loss not yours. I can relate only a tiny bit of what you are going thru. I only have one child and two grandchildren and wish I never was a mother at all. I was a failure at it. But she in now grown up and responsible for her own decisions. One of those as you know is not speaking to me or letting me speak to my grankids. We can only do what we think is best when raising our children.
NOW! Cheer up and have a great trip to California. Your children and grandchildren are waiting for you with love! :)

Jennie said...

Your thoughts are universal, I'd say. When I start to think like that I remember God and how our lives aren't really all about earth, but being with Him, living for Him. That helps me. Also it helps me to remember a Henri Nouwen essay about pain and how this world comes complete with pain and it will touch each of us, it's here, we're here, it happens. You aren't solely responsible for the pain of your past, the world is a mess and we can't always navigate it well. Rosemary you've touched my life as a friend and in a motherly way too. ME! Over here on the other side of the US, having never met you - I am blessed by knowing you. I consider you my friend and I appreciate your willingness to be so. Also, I'd have to say that my one grandmother who I didn't know so well while she was alive continues to touch me in ways I'd never expected. Her memory comforts me. I find notes from her, etc. She's more a part of me now than when she was here.

yellowdog granny said...

holy shit..i thought i was the only one that had those thoughts...i tell all my friends when you hear that im dead, know one thing..'boy is she pissed.'...have a great time...

jp said...

The fact that we will all be missing you while you are away on your trip should tell you something.

Not that you shouldn't enjoy your trip, but you should not stay any longer than necessary so as to come back to your blogging as soon as possible.

Yes, I have abandonment issues. We can discuss that another day.

Cazzie!!! said...

This all totaly reads "I am human" to me. Yes, YOU are human, I am human..and these are thoughts I often go through as well. The type of work I do, the type of work you did, often leads us to evaluate and re evaluate our own life, our own mortality and we do not want to miss a thing and that is what it is.
One day at a time, live it like you never have before and tell everyone you love that you love them and be sure to lov yourself too :)

sageweb said...

Well if you are any where near me when you are in cali..we can go have a cup of coffee and go make fun of random good looking people.
Hope you have a good trip and things get better.

madretz said...

I am also feeling a lot of nostalgia and some regrets and wishing a redo on certain things. We're at the cabin solo and I'm scanning old photos from my childhood, photos i inherited when my parents died. Both have been gone for over 10 years but I still feel like they are at my side. I didn't have a good relationship with my mother, yet no matter how much time has gone, she's still a major part of who i am and who i've become. That's her legacy even though she had no idea she would have such a big impact on my life.
Everyone's path is different, but I suspect yours might not be too much different. Your legacy will live on through them beyond your ability to see how it would.
happy travels and take lots of pics!

kenju said...

You are not, by any mans, the only person ever to have had those thoughts!! Why do you think we blog? So no one will forget us and they will always have a way to have us back, even if through reading our thoughts here.

Middle Child said...

MY two girls are 34 and 31...grand kids yet... Don is gne...I know exactly how you feel.. I want to be there for the grand kids...want them to remember the family history and what is good to do...

I might die tonight...but never ever say this to my kids...that is selfish.

I hope I will be there to tell the stories i heard and to continue the way...but now I am making sure my own two girls know the stuff...I have written down the family stories...and i hope... I hope they remember and also i hope I am there as well...

Chandler said...

Wow, heavy stuff. These thoughts occur to everyone from time to time. It is, in my opinion, a statement of sanity to consider ones worth and contributions to others and their own life. To consider the fleetingness of mortality is a brave thing. Many people don't allow the train of thought to continue.
Anyway, I am sure you will begin to feel better. I just popped on becaue it's been my first chance in a while and I miss you!!
Hopefully your trip to california will brighten your spirits and you will return feeling better.
Chandler

Shammickite said...

I'm very glad that I'm not the only one having the same thoughts from time to time.... but you write it all so much clearer than I ever could. But you will never oulive your usefulness to your children. They may not ask you for advice on a daily basis, but believe me, they value what you have to say whenever they ask you for an opinion.

more cowbell said...

Hey Rosemary. I'm not where you are yet, I'm adjusting to my 3 being in various stages of leaving home. But I know how my mom feels, and I know that feeling is coming for me, and I can imagine better than I want to. I miss my kids already ... even the one who hasn't left yet. Because I know it's coming.

How much of us, as a person, goes into being a mother? I've never thought of myself as the type of person who's "only" a mother, there are important parts of me the individual as well as me the mom. And yet ... thinking of them being gone for good, not really needing me, and thinking of htem maybe living as far from me as I live from my parents ... seems to suck the air out of me.

Even though my mom is far from me, and there are lots we don't see eye to eye on (politics, religion, taxes, yep the big three) she is like an anchor to me. If she weren't here, I would feel like my tether was cut. Reading about your kids and your kids' kids ... you've done a hell of a job, Rosemary.