Raging Against the Dying of the Light and Various Other Things

 I keep trying to put off blogging until I feel like I can be funny again. I do not feel like I can be funny again. My mother-in-law's memorial is next week-end and we're going to Thunder Bay and I keep feeling like we're going to visit her, and then remembering she's not going to be there. We've been going through pictures for a slideshow which is a really great way to remember how much we loved her and how much it sucks that she's dead. I recognize that it is a gift that I had a mother-in-law who was such a great friend. I'm happy that we will be together with people who also miss her after we've all spent the year grieving separately. It's just all kinds of wrong that we buried her mother at 95 just a couple of years before we lost her at barely 70 (which sounds churlish, in a way - 70 would have sounded like a perfectly fortunate crack at life when I was younger. We want too much. We are given an embarrassment of riches and we still want more. In some ways it seems like the only way to human.)

Eve snoozing on Nana Barb

Also, Eve is moving almost five hours away to university on September first. I went almost five hours away to university also (the same university, which has not stopped being weird). I always expected I would and I sort of expected that my kids would too. Now that I am faced with the unforgiving reality of the situation, I have morphed unwillingly into a massive, inescapable, mortifying cliché. I am bereft. I am heartbroken. I am rending garments and howling into the void - metaphorically, I mean. In reality I am mostly sitting staring into space wondering if this is the part of my life where I just sit very still until I wither away into some powdery substance and blow away on the passing wind. 

Do you get it? Nicole and Hannah will get it, if no one else does

I was drawn unwillingly into scrapbooking quite a few years ago. Once I got into it it was addictive, though, and I loved it, but I was doing it on the dining room table and that whole corner of the table and room was getting increasingly paper-strewn and cluttered. So I moved everything downstairs where there's a table and a set of shelves I could put everything on. But I didn't like having to go down to the basement to do it, and then Angus moved his bedroom down there, so I felt like I was disturbing him. Once I had the fleeting though "well when he leaves for university I'll have the basement to myself again" and immediately I was stricken and sad and hated the thought of selecting and displaying pictures of my sweet-faced goofy kids while said kids were fully grown and fled, and I thought fuck that, I'll just never scrapbook again. (To be perfectly honest, there was also a moment in the show Dexter that inexplicably took the wind out of my enthusiastic cropping and dry-embossing sails: Dexter's hard-boiled sister Deb crosses paths with another cop who tells her that she should get a hobby outside of policing, like maybe scrapbooking, which is described as "the tradition of putting photos and memorabilia into family keepsake albums, with relevant journaling". Which, I mean, that's exactly what it was, and yet the bald description of it somehow made me feel like a giant schmo (Shut UP, Other Cop, it's a way of expressing CREATIVITY and INDIVIDUALITY. Later on Deb takes down a perp and yells "I'm a cop! That's all I need! I'm not going to do any fucking scrapbooking!" and it's very funny but somehow made me question all my life and Innovative Layout choices.) Anyone want 900 sheets of acid-free paper and some flower stickers?

Similarly, last night I was reading a paper book instead of an ebook and I opened my bedside table drawer to grab a bookmark and was reminded that last time I started on one of my cleaning-and-organizing tears, which are effective (if a little frightening) but never last quite long enough, I stopped just before cleaning out my bedside table drawer, which really, really needs to be cleaned out. "After Eve is gone I'll have time to get to that" was my first thought, closely followed by "I DON'T WANT A FUCKING CLEAN AND WELL-ORGANIZED HOUSE THAT MY CHILDREN DON'T LIVE IN, I WANT TO LIVE IN SQUALOR WHILE COMPLAINING THAT MY KIDS WON'T LEAVE". It's a pretty well-acknowledged fact in our immediate friend group that I coddle my kids the most, and yet they're the only ones going away to university. How did those other assholes managed to co-dependent their kids into living at home for school and mine are swanning off into a world that I have left them ill-equipped to deal with? Angus has managed insultingly well, all things considered. Hmph.

This is usually the part (I think) where I say "it's okay". And of course, it is a little bit okay. And a lot not okay, and (ah fuck) that's okay. People are going to die and we're going to be sad about that. Kids should leave home eventually, and it's probably good that I'm not rejoicing over it. This is where I am in my life right now and there's no way out but through. 

I did absolutely kick ass going head to head with a Facebook fat-shaming troll last week, so when I feel like being funny again I'll tell you about that. 


Comments

I do get it!

It's a lot for you all at once. That's a fact. It's just a lot. It's a heavy load for you right now and there is a lot to mourn. Love you. xoxoxo
Busy Bee Suz said…
You've got a lot of emotional stuff happening. Your MIL was TOO young and what a blessing to have a MIL who you truly loved. I get that.
The kids. They will leave for a little bit, but they will be back. How could they leave you?
I think I have about 1400 pieces of acid free scrapbook paper and about 4 albums unfinished that will never be finished. (but about 15 done)
I had to giggle at your Dexter, Cop, Scrapbooking comment. Oh my.
Big hugs.
Pat Birnie said…
It is really a tough stage of life. Your MIL was taken much too young (as I turn 66 tomorrow I really mean this). I’m here to tell you that as tough as it is, you will stop being sad. My two youngest moved to Calgary from Ontario 8 years ago. I lost my dad at 78, much too young. It feels like you’ll never stop feeling sad but soon you’ll enjoy this stage of life & the freedom and peace that goes with it as much as the previous stages. And when they visit it’s so much fun- right now my 3 boys + their lovely ladies are still sleeping in as we enjoy a few days at our cottage, laughing, swimming, eating and drinking. I’ll cry again when they fly away in a few days, but I know that this truly is ok. I raised them all to be independent and live full lives, and they are all doing just that.
StephLove said…
You don't have to be funny for us when you don't have it in you.

I am girding myself for Noah to leave (in a week and a half). He's been home so long it feels almost like the first time. I know it's not the same as having your youngest go, but it's still hard.
Ernie said…
All the feelings - they are tough enough but overlapping is even harder. You have so much going on.

I can live in chaos and clutter and right now I have an excuse but when the last one is off at college and I have no more excuses, then what?

Best of luck with the memorial. Your MIL was a gem and I envy your close relationship but my heart breaks for your loss.

College is temporary. They will be back.

Tudor said…
I want to hear about the Facebook thing.

Also, this is just about when I highly recommend you book a hotel room on the weekend halfway between Labour Day and Thanksgiving so that you can go and take Eve out for lunch and enjoy a hotel room all to yourself and that will be two gifts. You don't have to go -- you can cancel the reservation if you decide to -- but having it is (IMHO) nice. It's a crutch. It's (also IMHO) a better coping mechanism than mindless alcohol consumption.

I spent most of last September repeating to myself: "Accept what is. Let go what was. Believe in what will be." It helped. Sometimes the actual meaning helped and sometimes just trying to remember the words to recite them to myself helped -- by the time I remembered I'd be like, "Oh, it's time to make dinner!"
Ally Bean said…
This sounds like a lot to handle all at once. I understand why you're howling into the void. I've no sage advice, no pithy mantra. Hang in there, ok?

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