Apr 24, 2016

I Understand Now

 Grandma and Linda 2000

Listening to Accuradio Decade: 1970's Hits, the floodgate opened and I cried for the first time in ages. I turn 50 this year and I am looking forward to hitting the milestone (it's a miracle that I made it this far). Still there is a pall of loss cast over my life. With each passing year, I feel it more acutely than the year before. While I would love to live to see 100, I am a realist and recognize that I did not win the genetic lottery. 

 Steve, Fini, and Grandma 2000

Mother dead at age 35, father dead at age 45. sister gone by 52, and brother gone by 58. I am staring down what is probably the last decade of my life and today, listening to the soundtrack of my childhood, with a gentle Spring rain steadily falling from the gray sky, I understand why my Grandma Kate drank. She lost her brother in the last months of WWII and then watched a large extended family pass, one by one until she was the last one standing of her generation. She lived till the ripe age of 92, surrounded by grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved her and wanted her to live with them, but she lost her daughter (my mother) when she was 60 and her son while she was in her early 80's, and honestly, his living was probably worse than his dying, (the word wastrel was coined with him in mind). 

Linda's Wedding 2000

At age 60, she decided she would be dead soon and sold her home 5 years before it was paid off. She "loaned" the money to her son and my brother for a business venture that never really got started. Needless to say, she never got any of the money back. Grandma Kate had aunts and grandmothers she was close to, but a troubled relationship with her mother, who also drank to excess. Today I listen to the rain, cry, and feel the pain of her loss, both for me and for her. I will wake tomorrow and feel better, but today I wallow.

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