It wasn't easy she sighed.
And now over thirty-five years later here she sat on this park bench pouring her heart out to me, a stranger.
She has been battling colon cancer for going on nine years and as a result of the chemo, now suffers from osteoporosis and arthritis. Her workaholic daughter helps her get groceries once a week but she hates to bother the daughter unnecessarily so she waits to hear from her. Sometimes it's almost two weeks before this important business woman calls her mother. Her sons both live in Vancouver and run a construction company. They each have a few grown children who also have children.
They're both very busy. It's hard for them to visit. But they came when I was first diagnosed.
We talked until Deaglan was near ready to have a meltdown because I was ignoring him. She had been out walking, trying to get some exercise at her doctor's request, when she saw the three of us at the park. She came and sat beside me on the bench as if we were old friends.
We discussed motherhood, her youth, her kids, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren who she's never met. She told me about a new medication for arthritis she's discovered through a friend of hers who has a computer. She is now almost considered a survivor of this cancer that has been plaguing her. Her philosophy over the past nine years of treatment has been to get up every single morning, bathe and get dressed whether she wants to or not. Then she climbs down the stairs and starts the dishes or dusting. If she feels exhausted with her efforts then she lays down on the chesterfield until she feels better, but at least she is clean and dressed.
I eventually had to pull away and tend to my toddler and infant but I've thought about her almost constantly since. Is this the course our lives eventually take? Do we just end up alone, battling the breakdowns of our bodies and loneliness, without the help of the younger generation we worked so diligently to nurture and raise?
This is a Red Writing Hood meme from the Red Dress Club. There were a choice of two photos I could use as inspiration and I chose this one entitled resigned.