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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

GOODWILL.... and LETTING GO

What IS life but a series of changes, right? IF you are lucky.....

I got some clothes together to donate to Goodwill. These are the same items that have moved with me a few times, and funny enough, I haven't worn some since before the first relocation over 13 years ago. Of course this started me thinking, which amazingly enough, got me to do some wording....

I'm not really a t-shirt guy.

So why do I have (literally!) over 100 of them in my closet? Some are funny, some are faded, some might even fit - but most of them are now donated. Why the sudden change of heart? Why did I stop the inbred hoarding that seems to infect many of us in my family? I'll blame global warming....

Seriously, I can't believe I am even THINKING this.... maybe I am finally growing up.... or at least growed out of wearing clothes that are designed to make people laugh, or at least get a first impression that the wearer MUST be a bit soft in the head. They would be closer to right than wrong.

The last few years have been a challenge on many levels. Coming to grips with unrealized hopes and dreams, watching Mom decline to the point she can't function on her own any more, and finally admitting to myself that life alone doesn't have to be sad or pathetic. Well..... the ALONE part at least changed. Mom moved in a few weeks ago.

The sadness I feel for her is constantly balanced by the fact she seems mostly happy despite her difficulties. She has trouble remembering most things, even my name. She knows I am her son. She has mentioned our life together when I was "the baby". She mentions her desire to go to Germany enough that I will try and make that happen. And yet, she can barely write her name, I had to show her how to make coffee, despite her making it for the last 40 years.

It makes me wonder how long I will have her around.

The last few years have been hard on her. She put up with an awful double ex-husband, just because he was considered "terminal". How terminal is up for debate since the diagnosis was made over 15 years ago! He has ruined decades of her life. yes, she LET it happen, and I did NOTHING since I was mostly living out of state. The funny thing is, she laughs now more than ever. She seems content. She gets a bit frustrated when the right word doesn't come to mind, but I just tell her to relax, it happens to all of us.

My life, I have to admit, is better since she came back. I cook for her, I worry about her, I do as much for her as I can so that she doesn't have to strain her weakened self. The guilt I have over feeling annoyed at times passes when she gives me a hug for no reason - something she NEVER did years ago. I'm OK with putting what little bit of fun I may or may not have had on hold for her. I'll never repay the years she took care of ME, missing meals, sacrificing so that I may have a toy or some other luxury we couldn't afford. It feels kind of good to not be so selfish after all these years.

 That is why it was easy to pull all the suits I had in the closet and ready them for a run to Goodwill. I looked at each one, reminiscing when I bought it and the MANY shirts, ties, and shoes that had to go along for a COMPLETE outfit. I recalled the feeling of success, wearing my professional gear because I was a PROFESSIONAL type person. They
were my uniform, my status clearly displayed. I dressed the part.

And now, I have no desire to put a tie on.

Is it because I am done being a professional? Is it because I got too fat to fit any of those fancy duds? Is it because I feel  no longer in need to project an image to anyone? It could be all of that, but I DO think it's mostly because I am not that guy who WANTED to be in charge. To be the go-to man. To be the leader.

I can see the rest of my years devoted to being less into ME and more into making a difference in my small world. I haven't yet, but hopefully there is still time. I hope Mom is there to see it too....

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