And it came to me in a sudden lift, followed immediately by guilt at the hopeful thought: Now I can do whatever I want.
And tonight, on the phone for two hours with Mother, she said she'd had the same feeling when her father died. In her case, it meant being free to walk away from the mess of her screwed-up family after the intensity of having cared for her father's needs. I've never known anyone who loved a parent more deeply and intensely than she loved my grandfather. So the lifting weight has something to do with duty, with--at least in part--having had to do what one feels obligated to do.
I know I need to ponder this. Of course we loved them: I loved Randy; she loved her father. But the real contrast shone through when she spoke of how she felt when my father died: What am I going to do with the rest of my life? The exact thought that came to me after R's death. The difference is that my looking forward is with hope, and hers, despair. I think that I will never love as she has.
Cynthia Neely: Hopewell Bay
1 week ago