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Friday, March 6, 2009

Missing My Parents

My parents @25yrs

So, it's that time of year again. My mother's undiagnosed disease (now known as Amliodosis) came to a head and we lost her on Mother's Day 2004. My father whose esophagus was torn during routine surgery was put on hospice care and moved into my brother's house this time in 2007. We lost him on April 17th almost three years after my mother. She had turned 70 a couple of months before she died and he was 77 when he passed. I was in my mid 40's and my children were in their 20's and had a great relationship with them. We were lucky but it doesn't stop me from missing what we could be having IF . . .If, someone had connected Mom's symptoms and diagnosed her earlier If, someone would have listened to Dad when he said it really hurt when they yanked the tube out of his throat and they told him to "suck it up" and eat. Even at their ages they both died before their times. They were both very tough people. They worked hard and didn't expect any more from anyone else than what they would do themselves. They expected a lot from their children and adored their grandchildren but maybe didn't say it enough. They had a different relationship with each one of us. I am the youngest of five children all born by the time my mother was 25 and my dad 30. I was my dad's cupcake. My brothers Mathew & Mark and my sisters Kim & Cookie say I was spoiled.I didn't think I was at the time.I feel like they all look out for me now.
The good thing that came out of their sicknesses and deaths is that the five of us got to know each other for I think the first time. Besides Tom I think my family are the only true friends I have. My sister, Cookie,understands my weaknesses, my anxiety & depression without sympathy or judging. It's good to know that someone else has episodes like I do and still lives a "normal" life.
I know my mother was disappointed that I got married and started a family so young at 19 (as I guess I was when my daughter did the same- I'm proud of you Jen!). She was happy that I was able to travel even if it was with the Army. Dad never said much just that he loved us. After Tom joined the Army we didn't have a day to day relationship but when we came to visit it was 24-7 for at least 2 days and up to 2 months. We talked a lot and they got to see what the kids were really like. I miss those talks. I want to ask my mom what it was like to be a new grandmother and a mother-in-law. I want to sit at the kitchen table and read the paper with my dad and I want to open my E-mail and see those sometimes irritating forwards he used to send.
I started writing this morning because I have been listening to a CD that Thomas put together when he & Natalie got engaged. It's a few songs (mostly country so you know I cry) that tell the story of their love. It reminds me of where they came from and of how grateful I am to be married to a man after more than 30 years who loves me and wants to grow old with me. What started this post though was that my mother loved the cd and I think it made her realize just a little that maybe I was a success in life because the people around me are happy.

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