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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Butterflies And Memories

two butterflies sitting on pink flowers

I have been working on a different post to break my silence after so long away from posting. Yet I felt today I needed to write about what has been happening in my life the last few days. The battle I have been fighting with the roles that have been thrust upon me against my wishes. I have begun the preparations for my mother's passing. It has gotten me to thinking about how so much is expected of you just because of the accident of your birth.

You are probably wondering what that exactly means. It means that why does it fall on me to be the responsible one, the leader, the surrogate. Just by me being born first. The eldest child. Younger siblings will never understand the role you have thrust upon you from the moment you burst kicking and screaming into this world. You are treated differently in the fact that yes, you were the one to make your parents what they were, parents.

My parents struggled with the idea of when to have more children after I was born. My dad was trying to build a business, while my mom wanted to have more kids right away. She didn't want me to be an only child. As the oldest, you are treated more as a small version of an adult. Unless you are lucky to have parents who have been around children before then just maybe you might be treated as a child. Sometimes I feel like I have never gotten to be a child. For as long as I can remember I have been responsible for taking care of someone else. First with children in my mother's care, and then with my own siblings. I was always the little mother.

"Take care of your brothers." was a litany I heard all my life. And later after my folks, split up. it was "take care of your mom". In fact, that was one of the last things my dad said to me before he passed away. Take care of your mom, and be there for the boys." It was left unspoken between us because you are the oldest. My dad understood because he was a first born child also. He grew up hearing the same thing, that is why he passed the responsibility down to me as I am sure it was to him.

I want to know when is my job done? When do I get to just be me? I gave up long ago of ever having a childhood. My teens were a blur of dealing with a sick mother and taking care of my brothers. I sometimes wonder who is going to take care of me when the time comes and I need to pass on the responsibility. Who do I name my successor? Who do I want to pass the job I never wanted on to?

I am just feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I feel like I am not being given room to come to terms with what is coming. I feel like once everything is said and done I will be fragile as an antique teacup. One jostle and I will shatter into a million small, sharp shards. No glue will ever be able to restore me to the condition I began in. Humpty Dumpty will always be missing a few chips.

Another phone call from another funeral home. I guess I should answer it. I have to be an adult for the moment. I will wait to be the child who is also losing her mother, difficult relationship or not. She is still my mom. No matter how old you get, when you lose a parent you are still that small child climbing up in their lap looking for reassurance that all is right in the world.

Thanks for listening to my rambling. As always love fully, and laugh often.

two women sitting on a bench, one older than the other.


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