It's only been a week, but I feel like I still have a lot of emotion to unpack. My most frequent feeling is anger, but I know that's just one of the stages of grief, so I'm not letting it manifest itself. I think I've been angry at her for a long time, without really letting myself know that I was.
Last fall, when my sister and I went to settle her into a nursing home, it was a very shocking experience. I remember that after that part of my trip was over and we were driving back to Tennessee, I began to work on what I called my Anti-Mom Manifesto. It was a list of reminders of things that she was or did that I didn't want to become or repeat. So, in essence, the most valuable things I learned from my mother were all about seeing her life as a cautionary tale.
1. Take care of my health. Don't allow myself to become addicted to anything harmful. Don't take my health for granted.
2. Forgive those who wrong me (including her!) Lack of forgiveness leads to bitterness.
3. Don't be a victim. Have good boundaries and defend them.
4. Make good decisions. Try to correct mistakes, and then move on.
5. Don't accumulate material possessions. Accumulate healthy relationships.
6. Pets are not more important than people.
7. Don't settle for crummy from myself - strive for excellence.
8. Be honest with myself and others. Be willing to examine my life and tell the truth about what I see there.
9. Put my child's needs before my own most of the time. Not always, but mostly.
10. Only cook with fresh, wholesome ingredients.
I'm sure that not every item on this list will have the same significance for my readers as it has for me. I'm sure there's more. I don't really want to talk about how she didn't do these things.
So, in addition to dealing with my mother dying, I am still living in limbo regarding where we're moving to in...a little over 2 months...GRRRRRRR!
The options are Berlin, Germany or back to the states. I mostly feel like I could go to either place and it would be ok, but we are just waiting and waiting and waiting and it's getting a bit tedious. To say the least.
To keep myself sane, I have worked on a few projects. But I will save that for tomorrow's post. And I'm still singing with the choir - we are getting close to our performances in early May. And then that part of my life will be over. I'm so glad I joined the choir and hope I have the opportunity to do it again wherever we wind up.