It's been hot and humid. This is why I like coming home in the winter; cold can slow me down but some heat stops me from doing much at all. And we're told we can expect temperatures in the 40C's this season. I thought those were reserved for Arabia and Australia, no? Still we appreciate Yokohama has escaped the rain, thunder and cold/heat that's been descending elsewhere. First summer here in 19 years. Yeah... Nelson has most definitely not had the extreme weathers of the last couple of decades in comparison.
I miss Ben. A lot. And every day I wonder what the heck I'm doing here, but more on that later.
Mom's been better, in that she's come out of the daze a couple of weeks ago when Dad's bones went under the grave and she finished her part of the pension-related work. She doesn't sit at the table waiting for food to appear when she's hungry any more, and when rostered, she even cooks. Or assembles. For a couple of weeks she was active, sociable and, well, normal; she told some people in terribly indirect language what I think I can translate as her missing Dad. But then another Mom emerged; this one is negative, cynical, intrusive; everything is everybody else's fault, and, yeah, she's been hard to live with. Up to now that was Dad's and my speciality.
I noticed this about Mom during the Feb/Mar visit and told her this is not her, and she has got to regain her positive and proactive self, but the way she's at it, I don't know if this temporary or if this is now her default mode. Since she had good listeners in my sister and brother, I tried to motivate her, but we fought so much I gradually desisted, and now thanks to this heat I don't have the energy for my well-intentioned pep talk. For which Mom is thankful, no doubt. Sometimes her negativity is so that I felt physical pressure on my shoulders and neck; sometimes I know I'll do better in Nelson for both of our emotional health. It's hard to talk about this with her; we both feel our best efforts are under attack, and that I'm violating her territory, and she hasn't got the guts to tell me to leave, (after one time,) nor I to abandon her. And after I go home this next time, I honestly won't be able to afford another trip for a while even if one of us changes our minds.
And then there is always this thing where Mom says anything to family as long as she thinks it's true. I probably do the same to her.
In practical terms, I gradually gave up helping Mom in tidying the house. She wanted to get rid of practically everything right away and we fought so much but now I leave it to Mom and her twice-weekly helper, but grab anything of Dad's I want to keep or think my siblings may want. And throw away she does!! I try to stick to our roster and cook and clean the kitchen; try not to mind if she does laundry on my days, and clean the areas I mainly use, (so, the stairs and upstairs.) And do little every day in the bathrooms. And I try not to do much when she's rostered to do something.
It's like learning to live harmoniously with a new roommate; learning to live with Ben was so much easier; living with Ben is so, so, so easy I do have a renewed appreciation for him. My honey is such a Honey!
And I appreciate the heat; we have little head space left to fight. Or talk, some days.
I miss Dad. For a while all the regrets for things I didn't/wouldn't do for/to/with him was becoming overwhelming. Mom revised her opinion of him, and blamed a lot on my immaturity; I went under a revised my view of him, and blamed myself. But then I learned that our, (three kids') view of Dad was much influenced, (tainted,) by what Mom told us, as recently as last March, and I'm sad for Dad for having gotten such a bad rap in his own home, and that perhaps where he could most be himself was with his students, not with his family.
I feel sad that Mom hones in on my immaturity and tells me to, "get over" things. On the third day after I got here, she forbade me to grieve in front of her because it was offensive when her life had been turned upside down; then she listed practical and financial difficulties. Or I should go back to Nelson and cry with Ben. I feel the most intense regret thinking about dad making jokes about Mom being just as hard, (as him,)to live with, because not only did I not show support for him, but I totally didn't buy it. None of us three did. And knowing all of us were "on Mom's side" most of the time, I even wonder if "home" was a happy place for him.
Thank goodness for the heat, I don't think too much complicated thoughts; I just miss Dad when we're eating something yummy or find something funny on the telly. But we're glad he went when he did because we would not have known how to care for him in, yes, I'll say it again, this heat.
So that's my side of the story. But just part of the story.