Sunday, March 29, 2009
Signing Up For It
A man who was at my sister's funeral, 13 years ago, died this week, obviously not knowing he'd only live to be 62 years old. My Uncle Joe had then guided my terribly stricken parents, comforting them as well during that horribly difficult time, and within one month, we were at his funeral stunned beyond comprehension. The ironies, the tragedies and the mundane sometimes just take over my pea brain and make me over-think every situation. Maybe it's simply a wonder that I still function at all.
I'm obsessing over this, this morning. Thinking what would I do if I knew I only had a month, or 13 years to live. Would I live differently?
My last 13 years has been a total blur of new children, three infants (now almost 9, 12 and 13), retirement, and a slew of ordeals, shocks and traumas I never dreamed of facing.
Lines have grown all around my eyes, worry and stress wrinkles, I've become emotionally battered and physically stressed way beyond what I thought I could take. I've also had 18 of my 19 darling grandchildren born since then. Baby Yolie soon to turn 14, heading off to high school next year.
Dealing with the mental illnesses and the severe emotional disabilities has nearly made me crack in half under the stress and strain.
But in becoming Bita, the diminutive of Abuelita, I'm seeing the sweet side of life, other than those children of mine who'd use the grandchildren as pawns.
There'll soon come a time when I live in a home with no explosions nor fistfights.
For some unfathomable reason yesterday, Jonathan went after Mayra who'd verbally corrected his behavior. My money was on Mayra, what was Jonathan thinking? Allen did a classic double take, and then slung Jonathan neatly upside down, "Leave my sister alone, boy." Likely giving Jonathan the relief he needed, as Mayra could handily clean his clock with one hand tied behind her back. Prozac doesn't make you Superman, Mayra towers over him.
I'd made a massive pan of lasagna in a stainless steel bin I'd bought for a buck at a yard sale years ago. Whole wheat noodles, ricotta cheese, pepper jack cheese, spinach and a ton of mushrooms marinated in garlic. I ate two platefuls. Tony'd baked a birthday cake for Miriam who came by to show us her new car. A 2001 Mustang? Who'd have thunk it? With her 80 pound part Mastiff, part pit bull-boxer mixed dog, Winston, taking up the entire back seat, drooling on a blanket and setting off my nine over-protective dogs to barking up a storm.
It poured buckets of rain yesterday, a frog-strangler, a gully washer bout of precipitation, as I delightedly stared out the windows while spending all day long watering the houseplants. Sarah'd called me to let me know the Braves were playing the Yankees, the team I love to hate, on TV at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex where I'll spend my real retirement someday, eating hot boiled peanuts and yelling at the players, already sad that Bobby Cox will likely soon retire.
6-4 Yankees...ouch, but my day of pondering death came full circle as I was emailing my brother-in-law, a Yankees fan, my sister's husband who'd been to the above mentioned funeral and had written many thoughts for me to ponder regarding death, Christianity and friends. I'm thinking about, and praying for, his sister as well who'd also lost a friend suddenly this week.
And truly, I don't know what I'd do differently if I knew how long I had. My life is dictated by the demands of my family that I deliberately, with prayer, planning and much thought, chose.
I'd had an immature hissy fit last night over kids disobediently eating in the family room. I'd slung a metal bowl in the kitchen and crashed around over-dramatically, sighing loudly, tired of being the maid around here...but really Big Mama, this is what you signed up for, isn't it?