Friday, February 09, 2007

Where is she NOW?

This morning, in an email to my sister, I wrote the following sentence: "I haven't talked to mom all week, so for all I know they've left the country again."

Her response: "Yup, they've left the country again. Good guess."

There is just something very weird about writing a sentence like that, primarily in jest, and finding out it's true. And what's even more weird is realizing that the response no longer surprises you.

To put it into context - for the first 37 years of my life, I KNEW where to find my mom. Her life was lived within a fairly predictable and dependable space. She was at home, on the farm. If she wasn't there, then she could be found at the store she worked at for many years. If all else fails - check the neighbour's house. Or the church. Once in awhile, she'd venture to the city, but then she was visiting either myself or my sister, so we knew where to find her. About once a year, she'd fly out to visit my brother, or spend a few days at my other brother's house. That was about it. Not particularly exciting, but always dependable.

Then, for the next two and a half years, after dad died, she lived in the city, and though the walls of her life were a little less confined, she NEVER left town without telling me.

Now, suddenly, her life has been transformed and I no longer know where to find her. She's home less than she's away. She's been married less than two years, and in that time, they've spent two months in Holland, travelled to Alberta more times than I can count, and hopped across the border into the U.S. probably more times than she's done in her whole life before this.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy for her. She loves to travel and didn't get nearly enough of it in her life before this. She's got a new lease on life, and I certainly don't begrudge her that. She has spent so many years being "dependable", she has earned the right to be "footloose and fancy free."

But - it can feel a little disconcerting to never know for sure where your mom is and when you can reach her. Moms are meant to be dependable. Reliable. Unchanging. Somehow, in a way I can hardly explain, it makes the roots of my tree feel a little shaky.

Besides that... does she have to make up for ALL that lost time in just a couple of YEARS? Sheesh.


Liz said...

My parents do that too. They'll call me and tell me they had a great trip and I'm like...huh? Where'd you go??

It'd be nice to know they are going somewhere before they leave!

Vicki said...

I just had the same conversation with a friend of my yesterday. Her daughter is very upset with her. After being in an abusive marriage for 25 years she drew the line in the sand and found a place of her own to live. Now the daughter is upset with the Mom because the Dad has told the daughter "It's all Mom's fault." Anyway the daugther is so upset with her Mother telling her "You've ruined my life."

My advice (if you call it that) to the friend was not to worry about the daugther. Just pray for her. It's hard when Mom's change, we are not sure what to do with ourselves. They are not supposed to be Mom's they are supposed to be THERE!

I'm going away to Branson in a couple of weeks with my Mom, Aunts and Cousins. I'll only be gone for a weekend but Olivia is just beside herself! How can I go without her??!!!!!

We are never too old to want our Mama.

Debra said...

Oh my... I hope you won't hate me, but I am thrilled for your mother. I love people like her... people who have the courage as well as the good health to live a whole new life at an advanced age... and to find adventure instead of just sitting around complaining and waiting to die (which is what some of my own relatives are doing). Thanks for sharing about your mom (I love the way you write)... Maybe you can encourage her to at least send you post cards with clever messages from her exciting destinations and keep in touch with you that way? :) Blessings, Debra

Gina said...

My parents do that, but just for regular things, not trips away. They have a dog, so they need to let at least one of us know to take care of it!

BarnGoddess said...

my 75 yo father occassionally takes off, but he always has his cell phone.

I am secretly envious of your mother...Im sorry

Linda said...

That must seem really weird.