So aside from a huge dose of grief and loss, it’s very interesting that my intentions are indeed coming to fruition. Quite rapidly, in fact–but as is quite often the case, there can be unexpected repercussions to getting what you ask for. This story is rich and complex, and I want to do it justice as it continues to unfold in the days and months to come.
We have been busy this past two weeks, because (unrelated to the passing of my mother, although curiously timed) the decision had been made to move into my father’s home with him. Over the past two months, his back pain has become crippling, and he can no longer take care of the house by himself. Once my mother passed, it was clear that he ought not to be alone for long, so we moved shortly thereafter. This decision gives us much-needed space, and a fair bit more financial freedom. The kids are ecstatic with nearly an acre of land to run around on, and cable television too! My dad is coping with my mom’s passing as well as can be expected, and I think our family ties are strengthening, which is really nothing short of incredible given our history.
So it seems that my intentions are manifesting, in ways that are unexpected, but nevertheless, profound. This particular unfolding will have some unexpected consequences that are even better than I had hoped for. It will also involve a painful, and perhaps gruelingly difficult amount of emotional growth and effort in dealing with my past. No pain, no gain, right?
Naturally, to tell the entire story and have it make sense requires a fair bit of background filling-in. So without further ado,
I’m an only child with virtually no extended family that I’m close with. My parents are also roughly a generation older than most other parents with children my age. Given these facts, I always knew it was a possibility that I would have to deal with their deteriorating health and more at a relatively young age. In fact, I remember vividly around age five, sitting on my swing set in the backyard, thinking about how I’d need to have children young if I wanted them to have a relationship with their grandparents.
Then, when I was 12, life changed a lot–my grandparents (whom I did not know too well, and who were suffering from dementia and did not really know us anymore, either) moved in with us. To put it bluntly, it was a nightmare for me, a previously spoilt-rotten 12 year old kid, whose life revolved around her mother. My house felt like it was a nursing home, and my mom was way too busy with elder care duties to pay much attention to me. Now, 18 years later (yes I’m 30…how did that happen?!) I know fully well that my mom did the absolute best she could in that situation, and she did damn well, all things considered. But in my 12 year old mind, I felt angry, betrayed, miserable, and oh, did I mention ANGRY?
Those were really rough times for the whole family. Perhaps in a less dysfunctional family, that sort of situation would make them pull together, but no, my dad and I both felt unspeakably angry and betrayed. When we weren’t fighting with each other, we were bonding over our frustration with the “loss” of our mom/wife.
So for better or worse, that’s the truth of my past.
By the time I was an adult, I never wanted my kids to have to go through what I did back then, and my parents agreed. They didn’t want to “be a burden”, and as my family grew, it became increasingly evident that I wouldn’t be in much of a position to take care of them anyway. Those were thoughts to think on for another time…some faraway, nebulous future when my parents might no longer be the feisty, self-sufficient people I had always known them to be. It was really easier to believe that that would never happen.
Then there were the memories of my life and times in that house. I only lived in two houses over the entire course of my childhood, and everything with my grandparents occurred shortly after we moved into what was to be my parents’ “dream house”. Twelve is such an awkward, defining age, and I was NOT happy about moving in the first place. All three of my beloved pets died in the first year after moving there, and I took that as confirmation that we shouldn’t have moved! Also, I got involved with my first husband way back in junior high, and he left a nearly indelible presence on the home as well. My parents, although initially apprehensive, came to welcome him like the perfect son they never had, and those memories are also part of the emotional baggage with that house.
Suffice it to say, I never imagined in a million years that I would willingly agree to live here again. The first few nights were especially uncomfortable. I’m finally finding a focus for some long-suppressed anger and resentment, and it’s not always fun to arrive at the conclusions I’ve been coming to. This is the flip side of intention-manifestation–to be prepared for some serious “growing pains” along the way to realizing your dreams.