Friday, July 31, 2009


I spend most nights like this: Back and forth, back and forth in the rocking chair. Wishing it wasn't just me I am attempting to soothe to sleep. One foot down on the floor, the other leg kneels on the Pull Out Couch Of Death (Tm), and I shift my weight onto the "bed". Where I have to lay diagonally, because that's the only way I'm not poking into one sharp spring or another, one crease in the 'mattress' or the next. I bring my pillows with me, back and forth, back and forth. From the chair to the couch, and back again, all night long.

And tonight is to be my last night. Tomorrow, I make for 'home.' The new house, at any rate, since it feels like nothing to me yet, just a place where I'm supposed to live my life.

And for all my complaining, about how long the process has taken and how much it has hurt that my being 'home' has not been seen as a priority by those who are supposed to care the most; and about the Pull Out Couch of Death (Tm) and what it means for my pain levels; and about having to behave as 'company', when I am clearly not in company form - for all that, I have had such an enjoyable summer here. And I find myself sad to have to go.

I knew I would be - I always am. Even an afternoon visit to Grandmother's house is something I attempt to stretch into an invitation to dinner, a chance for tea and dessert, some Jeopardy! companionship. And I've been here for 3 months now - almost exactly - and it's been a long three months, healthwise. But heartwise is another story.

I know that I'll be the one making her cry tomorrow, and that makes me cry tonight. Of course, this all seems maudlin and dramatic, considering we have gone from 3 minutes down the road to 15 -20 minutes up the street of a thousand red lights, but it's 1 in the morning, I've been running a fever for 5 days, and I am moving to a new home base: I'm going to let myself get a little maudlin, just because.

I've been trying to write the thank you cards I am leaving behind, and cannot think of how to say it: how to show just how grateful I am. The cards themselves will be scoffed at, I know: Uncle Jack will shake his head and say how it was nothing, how I was more of a help than a hindrance - and neither of us is gracious enough to just take the thanks as it is meant... uncomfortable with praise, my uncle is. And Grandmother has told me a thousand times how much she's enjoyed our time together: I just want her to believe that my heart's a thousand times fuller because of the past 90 days too.

Unable to think of how to say it, I sit and rock, back and forth, back and forth. I turned on the computer for the stated purpose of putting this down somewhere - That 90 nights on the Pull Out Couch of Death - FM pain and all, sinus infection (IN THE EAR) and all, grumpy uncles and all, having to answer the question about what's for dinner 90 times and all - were well worth it.

Because I got to sit out on the front porch and hear about how my Great-Great-Great Grandfather went to enlist for the Civil War and got swept off a bridge in a flash flood, never making it to battle, never making it back home. And witness firsthand how Uncle Jack's mood lightens when SisterK finally comes home from a night out. And watch my distinguished, stately, proper Grandmother try to throw a lounge chair at the neighbor's cat. And I got to (had to) be vulnerable and scared, and see how some of the strongest people in my life deal with their vulnerability, and mine. And teach Uncle Jack how to attach files to e-mail and thrill Grandmother by knowing all the words to Lydia the Tattooed Lady. And see Youngest Nephew play catch with his Great Uncle, and Lil Girl clop around in her Great-Grandmother's shoes.

Because I've been loved. And lucky.

Because I can not make it make sense to them, in, you know, sentences and things, I sit here and type. Rocking back and forth, looking back and forth, and hoping that I'll always be this lucky.

* I could not think of an appropriate title for this one (see above, re: Fever, Ear, 1 AM, etc). Only the lines from I'll Love You Forever kept coming into my head(because of all the 'back and forth' talk): "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be," but some people (ok: most people) seem to think that that book, while attempting to be positive and heartwarming, is also a little... stalker-y. So I didn't use that as the title, but I had to fit it in somewhere. All of my life, in one way or another, must relate back to a children's book, apparently. :shrug:


Crazed Mom said...

Hey! I adore that book! It's only stalkery if it's about people not related to you. All the naysayers can just shove it! The book shows the love, devotion, and commitment a mother has for her son, but can be used for any familial/caregiver type of relationship.

You make me wish I had granduncles and grandmothers in their 90's......sigh. I wish I could have gotten to known my grandparents as one adult to another. You are lucky in this. I'm glad I have no couch of death. Have you ever thought of getting an airbed cover? For yo bed not the couch of death. We use them in the hospital to prevent pressure sores but I just bet it would help you with your FM!!!!!!

By the way, I'll love you forever is a Mommy book not a children's book. :P

Sue Jackson said...

What a wonderful tribute to your family. I'm sure they know, even without the thank you notes, how much you've enjoyed their company.

And I can SO relate to the Pull-Out Couch of Death! Those bars and springs are the worst.

Hope you enjoy your new home.