My eyes are swollen. I finally had that breakdown I've been waiting for. It was building and building and then, wham, out of no where, the tears started and they wouldn't stop. Do I want to talk about it? I shook my head no but needless to say, I rambled on and on anyway.
As I wrote in my previous post, I had a hard day yesterday. And then another hard day, for different reasons, today. Of course, it's always the same underlying reason. My mom is dead, I have no relationship with my father, I'm an only child and I'm not super close to any family and everyone lives somewhere else, etc. I'm sure you've heard my story and if you haven't then here is your chance!
The reality is that I'm terrified that I will die before my children know me well enough to remember me and that there will be no one to see to it that my memory lives on. "Family members" don't pick up the phone to see if I'm doing alright (and for the record, I call them... or at least I used to until I finally gave up and accepted that they probably don't care). Most of my old friends are off living their own lives and would most likely not notice if I died, much less take the time to keep in touch with my children. So, I have tried so hard over the past couple of years to create an extended family for my kids. Sure, they have their dad's side of the family and this is not in any way meant to undermine their important role. But, let's face it, how well do our in- laws truly know us? I mean, my particular in-laws have a very abbreviated version of my history and a few years worth of best behavior interactions. They don't have any anecdotes saved up from when I was a little girl nor do they have boxes of memorabilia from when I was a student tucked away in their closets.
Somehow, no matter how hard I've tried, I've still managed to not create that extended family that I so desperately want and need for my children. I think that it is quite possible that some of my current friends might stick around for the next ten years even but I've become so jaded that I don't truly expect any of the people with whom I socialize today to actually be around next week, much less a few years from now during my hypothetical bought with breast cancer, demise, funeral, and the painful years afterwards during which my children grieve a woman long forgotten. I almost cannot believe I'm saying these things but it feels better getting it out.
Ten years ago, I almost married the guy of my dreams. He decided the day before the wedding that it was a big mistake. My wedding gift to him was going to be my old pair of Converse. They are worn and tattered and dirty. They have all kinds of crazy things written on them. My childhood friend, Debbie, purchased them for me at the Goodwill, the very same Goodwill where I first saw MAGS and where my mom and I spent many a weekend. Needless to say, I did not give him my shoes. But after that, the shoes always symbolized something very important to me. Like maybe that if someone could understand why I was giving them the shoes then they deserved to have the shoes...
This morning I learned that the keeper of the shoes will be leaving town. Skeedattling. I don't blame him and I'm almost not surprised. But nonetheless, this means that I must get the shoes back from the keeper and find them a new, safe home. All of this the same week that I'm facing the reality that what's left of my mom's stuff will be showing up here this weekend and, yay, I get to go through it. Where the hell is my Rescue Remedy?
Will I send the shoes with Geoffrey? That's not very fair of me. Soon, he will probably be getting married and having children of his own. Do I really need to send them to live with him? Perhaps I could ship them to Jaime in California. He's known me a long time and yet he's still around. Or what about Brandall? We've only known each other for one year but it took me 17 years to reconnect with him after that day at the Goodwill, I'm not letting him out of my life any time soon. Besides, he is family. Why can't I give them to my husband? Would it be such a bad idea to leave them with him? Does he comprehend what they mean and why they matter? Would he pass them on to the Donut when she's older IF something did happen to me or would he just throw them out? I wish I knew the answer. I wish I could trust someone.
It's not that I think I'm going to die any time soon. But I've seen death and it's real and it takes people at random times and I don't want to be ill prepared. I will pray for the keeper of the shoes to reveal him or herself and I will pray that over the next year or two, I develop friendships with people who would pick up the phone and call to chat with my children if the friends happen to outlive me.