... my hands are tied. And that frustrates me. I'm worried about my Mom right now. She isn't feeling well - high fever - they suspect pneumonia or H1N1. She is getting better - although she still sounds horrible. I made sure today, on the phone, that she did see a doctor - that my brothers are checking on her - and that she is on some kind of antibiotic (just in case they've missed the pneumonia). I worry because she is Type II Diabetes (on her Mom's side - southerners who cook Southern - and... on her Dad's side - Native American and, therefore, prone to such illnesses...). Anyway, she can't check her blood sugar this week because her diet has been a steady one of chicken soup, crackers and 7Up. I'll call her tomorrow to check in. Hopefully, she'll answer her phone. Earlier this week, Olivia and Enzo called her with their respective graduation stories and to thank her for cards, etc. (invitations to come see the ceremonies and stay with us were declined - phone calls, texts, emails to my brothers were - from one, not returned / ignored - from another - another polite decline - though Olivia did get a text on her big day), but she didn't answer - two days in a row! She now tells me she must have been on the phone with my youngest brother. I know that means that she will not click over to get my call. Just how it is with my family.
Maybe you're wondering why I didn't even know she was sick. No one told me. In fact, we invited everyone for Easter - for graduation and for Memorial Day. My brother's son turned one. We sent a gift - inquired about a party - heard nothing back. All invitations were declined. I called my Mom several times this week. No return call - no email or other message from my brothers saying she was sick.
Maybe you've guessed by now that this is how we roll - this is par for the course with my family, so to speak - this is normal for me. Over the years, my Dad's warm, loving, noisy, interesting, big family kept us occupied with bigger than life holiday dinners, picnics, gift exchanges, hiking vacations to the Canaan Valley or Disney vacations together, etc. They are responsible for most of my happy memories. My Mom's family was more sedate. I had my dance, and that kept my Mom's interest (and my brothers, to this day, like to tease me about it, so that's fun for them). My Dad was my champion - praised my grades, loved all my activities, listened to my stories, really liked who I was. I loved him, and I miss him.
So... I worry about my Mom. I'm sorry that she's alone, having lost her partner of many years. She was a good mother, all in all. Of course she was. I love her. I wish she thought more of me, but... I should know by now that boys are her favorite, and I really am Ok with that. I have concerns, though. I worry about my brothers and their finances, their life choices - a lot of things. I know they have her audience right now, and I .... well.... I worry. You would too. It is not good - this situation. My offer to come asap was declined. She is pretty direct about saying she's too old to deal with my wild brood, and it is hard for me to get away on my own. My brothers come into town (two hours away) for football games all winter long (Go Steelers), but... feel that I live too far to have a continued close relationship in other ways. I miss our holidays. I miss talking to my Mom without outside interference, and... like I said, I worry. And - yeah - I get sad. I have fond memories of living in Europe too, but... I already know that my brothers and my brother's son will get everything that was my Dad's - all our family memories from a life lived here, overseas and .... well - very well - rich, fulfilled you know... maybe you have similar childhood memories - mixed, good and bad, but... memories, nonetheless - times that people in your lives for less than a couple years couldn't fathom (admittedly, I don't know my brothers' latest wives / girlfriends that well - and what I do know.... well.... worries me - could ya guess ?;-).
Both my Mom's and Dad's families had relatives who fought in many World Wars - wars on US soil - Vietnam and more..... I'll think of them tomorrow, and I'll also think of the times I've had with family on this day - Memorial Day - over the years (and special prayers will also go to my Aunt, my Dad's sister, who has been ill lately). I will make the best of the day tomorrow. I will call my Mom (I feel just terrible that she is that sick - I'm a worrier - and I'm surprised by it). I will enjoy my family. I will remember my Dad who was also in the army for a bit. Stay safe! Spend a moment or two in reflection.