Lets Just See What Tomorrow Brings…

(6 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I’ve met 47 new years. Yeah I’m 46, but born in February I saw one before my first birthday. I’ve met them a lot of different ways too. Some with the wide-eyed hope of a child, some with the wantonness of youth, some with regret, some with a sense of a recent loss, a few even with resolutions.

These past two or three years, it has been increasingly important to me to be better. Not that I ever thought I sucked inside. I have survived far better than any of my siblings, and have lifelong been criticized for being too nice, too generous, too naive, too giving, too, too, too. That’s a huge part, people say, of why I have nothing now. I have worked hard and long to kill my demons, but its more than that. I need to be a better person every day, be more thoughtful in my words and deed, touch the World more gently. I see people who live in ways I have never experienced, and want to rise to that level. I guess I want to be a saint, like when I was little and believed in all that shit.

And yet, here I sit, after making dinner for my men, drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette and staring off into space between keystrokes like some feminine demented version of Hunter S Thompson and we all know where that got him. This year, not a resolution, but fact. I quit smoking or it will kill me in the end.

But that’s not where my concerns really lie.

This is the only year I’ve met with fear.

We had relatives over tonight. They wanted, and did, take all the hundreds of photo albums that were in my husband’s Mom’s basement. Photos of people from 1920’s on up. His cousin knew the names he did not, and is going to organize and sort for all the various relatives pertinent histories.

My family has no such pictorial history; rather my brother just took it all, and I have none.

I started thinking. Someday, I, you, will all be faded photographs, or unsorted zip drives in a box.

His cousins are worried about their retirement: his pensions, his 401k’s. He is Mike’s age. We have no pensions or 401’s. We basically have to work until we die. At one point, when I was an up and rising business star, I planned on letting him retire, supporting him. I took that on knowingly when I met him, knowing the 15 year age gap would make certain things inevitable. But I have no degree, there are no jobs… I go to bed every night in pain after waitressing or doing housework and cooking for another couple.

Their house is paid for, ours is 90% bank. Their kids have been through college, ours is 10.

Heck, last year at this time we were in foreclosure, days away from the Sheriff’s coming.

I slept in cold sweats. But that immediate panic was less than the slow cold fear of the future I now experience as reality. It is only a house, and I have been just as happy living in a tiny rental place. That part, the stuff, the trappings are not what makes what your life ultimately is.

But now its more. I feel it is never going to be ok. I cannot support this man, and our son, and it ultimately comes to that. Fuck the house, how will I feed these people in the coming years? Were all the tiny choices I made throughout my life all precursors that predetermined the epic failure I am now to them? Should I have focused more on being selfish and money oriented?  

We spent the day Christmas with my mother in law, who went from violently abusive, to plaintive. It is the last time I take my son there, and I hope upon hope I did no damage to him by subjecting him to the abuse hailed upon him, and moreso the abuse she railed upon his Father and me. She went from screaming to infantile wailing, “Don’t leave, please don’t leave,” over and over for hours.

She is in true agony. Her dementia makes her think (there are many stories here) that somehow she was tricked or trapped and that she would be fine at home. We are keeping her from home. Her mouth is evil, but I feel so sorry for her. In her world, it is her reality, whether spirited away by the men in black or whichever story is the topic de jour of how she came to live in assisted living.

In her world she has been betrayed, and cannot understand that she is 90, in heart failure, on oxygen, a brittle diabetic who cannot walk. She wants to go home, and we are the only ones she can blame, be angry with, the very focus of her existence is being angry at us.

I never went through this. My Mom killed herself young, my Dad was at peace and ready to go when he died. Is how you go out the result of how you have lived? The MIL has always lived with a high level of unhappiness and rage, her doctor said her dementia was a life-long problem, not related to aging. I can attest to that in the last 25 years.

So.

I wonder about sanity, I wonder about what is good, what is evil, what I am. What I will become in the end, what my husband will become. How our son will have to deal with either/both. Mike went on meds this year, and some things here are consummately better. I no longer fear him, fear he is becoming his Mother. There is a long history of mental instability in that west-by-gahd-virginia family of Scotts.

I’m the hippy chick who always hates the “kill em all” scenarios, but has can be personally brutal where the “kill em all’s” can be quite gentle and kind personally. I live happy despite the times when I go introspective and assess my life clinically. I am more like my pragmatic yet sentimental Polish Dad than my dramatic Irish Mom.

I’ve lived with Death as my closest adviser, and fully realize all you leave in your wake are your INTERACTIONS. I probably worry more about becoming a better person more than anyone on the planet. Its all my life is really about. Its all anyone’s is, and yet most live unaware of how brief the stay really is, wasting time and squandering opportunities to do good with it like it will last forever.

Then my mind comes back to the photographs.

Who will remember me? Who will stay with me? Who will leave me? You see, some in those photographs were instantly remembered, all with stories and memories attached. Others were scarcely recalled, “I wonder whatever happened to…” and still others were dismissed into the realm of the past unknown. Dead and nobody, nameless, story-less. They lived their entire lives out; had every moment of consciousness we all experience in our journies and in a few short decades not one of those moments mattered enough to be recalled by anyone. Not a legacy I can live with.

Its not just the dying “unknown” that many artists feel, that I carry. Its not about being renown or popular. It the dying without leaving positive ripples, if only to a few. I worry that its not the overall “goodness” of a life that matters, its that sometimes one small act, one ¬†mistake can alter my path inevitably and make me fall into obscurity for others completely. That one act or another in my past may have also put me exactly where I am now: Set up for an Epic Failure to my son. Struggling for very survival soon, rather than just living a life.

The fabric of the American (perhaps world) existence is in such tatters that I cannot ferret out a happy ending scenario no matter how I rewrite the plot. Everything is stacked against us.

Yet, I’m not yet an angry old lady with dementia raging at the world from a hospital bed. I am 46, with a 61 year old husband and a 10 year old son. I have many choices in front of me. I have made many suck-ass choices too that can not be undone. All I can do is strive for excellence in every moment from this one forward. I won’t become my MIL, I won’t become my Mother. I am Diane, and in the process of my living want to create memories right now of goodness, kindness, gentleness, love. Things that count, matter, last. ¬†

I cannot see a better future for any of us right now. Even a revolution will be godawful… at least until its not anymore. But that too, is far distant and unknowable.

Of course, I could have never envisioned this present in my past. So, too, can I not possibly envision what is to come. I do know it will be harder than ever to make good choices in a world gone to shit. It will be hard to grow and nurture patience, forgiveness and beauty in a life full of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

I’m not as frightened of the conditions I live in as I am of failing my own, failing you, failing to do the right things and create good feelings in the world. We all need one another more than ever right now. How can I save the World if I cannot even save myself from my own failings and flaws? The only way, I suppose is continue to try.

2009 sucked. It was a perfect storm of imploding disappointments politically, extreme hardships in my personal life and in some cases utter breakdowns of my own standards inside myself.

Yet, there are a lot of good memories in 2009 too that I absolutely cherish and hold dear.

In 2009 we all did a lot of good work for the movement, too.

Maybe 2010 will be the year I keep a resolution: This year’s is more mota, less cigarettes. heh. Or preferably NO cigarettes. But seriously?

Maybe 2010 will be the year that people begin to see the truth in what we have been trying to tell them, on this, one of the only truly far-left sites in the blogosphere.

Maybe 2010 will be the year that all the enrichment given me by knowing others makes me take a leap toward a higher personal spiritual plane.

Maybe in 2010 I will become my higher angel.

~and~

The rest will follow from that.

Let’s just see what tomorrow brings…

33 comments

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    • Diane G on December 31, 2009 at 14:42
      Author

    My higher angel says to not think it… but damn, part of me does indeed think, now THAT would have been a karmic start to the year.

    As you can see, I’m still a work in progress.

    • RiaD on December 31, 2009 at 15:36

    but we survive in more than photos, stories, names & dates….

    we survive in little, often unseen ways…

    you’ll be there when your son smiles at his grandson because he did the right thing… like sharing his bowl of beans with one less fortunate….

    you’ll be there in the recipe for that bowl of beans that has been passed down….

    in the song that is sung with half remembered lyrics but tune in tact….

    these are the unlooked for, untouched…. unplucked gems

  1. I would create some sort of little arty shrine for the “Keep of Lost Dreams” saint… not sure who that would be.. but she would sure have lots of candles and incense at her feet from me.

    Love and light to you, dear lady.

    You can never hold back spring

    You can be sure that I will never

    Stop believing

    The blushing rose will climb

    Spring ahead or fall behind

    Winter dreams the same dream

    Every time

    • Alma on December 31, 2009 at 18:29

    a brighter year for you than 2009.

    My MIL has many, many mental illnesses. Her mother had some too. I too worry that my hubby and kids will end up with at least some of them.  So far only one of my hubbys sisters seem to have inherited it, but time will tell.

    • Diane G on December 31, 2009 at 23:38
      Author

    My inbox doesn’t fill every 15 minutes with 200 “You only have hours left to donate in 09!” messages.

    I aim low. This wish cannot possibly disappoint me.

    Of course, then the “Help us fight in 10, donate now!” messages will replace them… meh.

    Hey, but at least its mail.

    (Honest to god, every organization in the country thinks we all have money. Like duh!)  

    • Diane G on January 1, 2010 at 00:03
      Author

    this inane navel gazing ramble isn’t worthy.

    But thanks for thinking it is..

    and really, happy new years to all here!

    • Xanthe on January 1, 2010 at 01:35

    you have great courage to write this raw diary and send it out to unknown entities.  I couldn’t do it.  Saints btw were anything but saintly – they were conflicted, anxious, afraid and many of them were probably bi-polar.

    Get rid of your advisor, Death – he’s got nothing to say to you – he’ll lie in your ear 24/7 – turn him out.  

    You aren’t a loser – you’re there for your family.  You’re not your mother.  You’re Diane.

    These blogs give out wondrous messages – who would speak to family members like this – yet somehow you trust us.

    Thank you for your trust.  Thank you for writing so honestly and without fear.  You are actually quite remarkable.

     

  2. there is so much . . . . and it all takes a lot of guts, courage and a measure of hope and, now, so much more than before, as we witness a seemingly unstoppable “direction” of this country.  

    This is always a time of reflection, as we pass from one year to the next, we reflect on just about anything that can be thought of, including ourselves and our beings.  

    I wish us all some inner peace, despite a barometer bearing down on us, and a healthy, good and, hopefully, better New Year!

     

    *and ALL

    • dkmich on January 1, 2010 at 13:18

    I don’t think you aim low at all.  I think you aim too high.  Doing the best you can, day by day, is all anybody can ask of you, including yourself. Doing this will make you that “better person” you keep trying to be but never seem to achieve.   Someday, for your own peace of mind, you have to reach a point where you celebrate who you are.  You deserve it.  Your son deserves it.  

    Best wishes to you and yours during the coming year.  

  3. trying to say.  I just wish that I had a good solution for you.

    All that I can say is this:  be comfortable with yourself and with your children, as far as you can.  Keeping right there is a good thing.

    As far as the pictures go, only you and a very few of your family know who those folks are.  When the weather gets a bit better, the former Mrs. Translator and I have agreed to sort out the thousands of them, and share.  I intend to bring my scanner so that if we both want one, we can toss the coin for who gets the original and who gets the scan.  We might be divorced, but we are very, very far from being enemies.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

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