My Childhood is a Liar

My childhood was a lie. A big fat lie. Like a lot of kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to get away from my parents. I couldn’t wait to make all of my own decisions. What happened to the “doing what I want when I want how I want and where I want” adulthood I couldn’t wait to get to?  What happened to that? My childhood was a big fat liar.

I’ve gone on and on about a lot of things that are surprising as we age. Well, I was surprised, anyway.  If last year was the year of children related horrors, this year is shaping up to have a completely different focus.

One of my best friends and favorite people lost her mom last week. She held her hand and loved her until she slowly slipped away. I kept her company with daily texts and support as she was there for me when my mom died. She also remembers the tiny shit show that happened after. We were going to get together at my favorite wine bar a few days ago and raise a glass to our parents and share memories. She had to bail as she had funeral arrangements to handle. I called another friend. When she arrived, she announced she had just come from her Stepdad’s funeral. We spent the evening discussing her trials. Then this morning, another close friend has lost a parent.

This is another ugly chapter in adulthood. While I can usually find the silver lining, it kind of sucks. You spend all this time growing up, getting a job, getting married, building a family, getting a divorce, building a new life and you are just about to enjoy your adulthood, when all hell breaks loose.  I was making plans for a fun retirement, and I may be caught up in a few things that will impede that fun. And, chances are, by the time I am done with all of that…I will be ready to attend the funeral I have already picked the music for. Yes, I have really chosen the music for my memorial/party, whatever. Have you heard some of the crap that plays at funerals?  If I hear Bette sing about being a bird again, I might lose it. And, while some of the other traditional songs are beautiful, they are just not my style. Besides, why on earth would I want the same songs from everybody else’s funeral?

My dad’s health is failing and his memory is going, going, almost gone. He has lost his will, I think and that is the hardest thing for me. Who can blame him, he has no siblings left and most of his friends are gone? His closest relative is his cousin and both are in such poor health, it is unlikely they will see each other again. He is in constant pain and spends many hours “doctoring.” He no longer resembles that Dad I had, physically or mentally. I’ve been grieving him a little bit for a long time. I’m completely okay with his decisions and plans. And, if he is ready to go, I must let him. He has taught me so many things in life, I guess now he is teaching me to die. Even though some of the best lessons he taught me are how to live.

I know this is a normal occurrence. I do. Your parents should die first. I am lucky to have had my dad for so long. But, now is the ugly stuff: dying, death, funerals, wills, estate settling, and a long (hopefully) future without any parents. I have never been “Daddy’s little girl.” I wasn’t spoiled like that. But, we have spent most of my adulthood very close. Who will I call when I don’t know what to do? The tears just started…so, done with this line of thought.

So many things have turned out be be lies. Next, I suppose, you will tell me that my face won’t freeze that way and I can get sick from not wearing a coat. 

I have started 20 blogs about the last few weeks. But, I can’t seem to get everything organised. So, I’m just going to throw out there where I am. And, oh yeah, I need an assistant.

Wouldn’t it be Nice?

I read a beautiful obituary today:

http://www.eonline.com/news/793677/alexis-arquette-dead-at-47

It was a beautifully written tribute to a brother who became a sister. It was written by a brother. I have no idea regarding the dynamics of the writer and the deceased. Nor do I have any idea regarding the dynamics of this family. It was an obituary that made me smile. So, I reread it. And then as I read it a 3rd time, I realized that with just a few minor changes, I could change this lovely announcement to something that could honor everyone.

Brother Richard Arquette confirmed the news on his Facebook page, writing, “Our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, passed this morning September 11 at 12:32 a.m. He was surrounded by all of his brothers and sisters, and one of his nieces and several other loved ones. We were playing music for him and he passed during David Bowie‘s Starman. As per his wishes, we cheered at the moment that he transitioned to another dimension.”

“I am feeling immense gratitude to have been afforded the luxury of sharing life with him/her, for learning from Alexis, for being the gift of being able to love her/him and to be loved by him/her. He was a force.”

“He died as he lived, on his own terms. I am immensely grateful that it was fast and painless. It was an incredibly moving experience and I am humbled and grateful to have been able to have been with him as he began his journey onward. Thank you Alexis, I love you and will love you always,” Arquette concluded.

As I read it, my mind wandered in thought (I know, it shouldn’t be allowed to go out alone). I wondered if people who objected to the way Alexis lived her life would find the same beauty and celebration in her tribute. I couldn’t help but think there are people in my life that I struggle with. (And yes…..everything is about me…..even when an Arquette dies.) I narrow my thoughts to one in particular. This person is a force.  Lives on their own terms. I wouldn’t wish them pain or torture. I am definitely grateful (not necessarily to them) for everything that they and that relationship taught me (how to make better choices, how to forgive, how to succeed after tragedy, how to overcome homicidal thoughts, etc…..). I don’t wish harm, I am apathetic.  I really don’t care what happens to this person. I don’t care about them. I also do not care for them. How would I write that obituary or announcement?

I don’t like them; I don’t respect them; I don’t like their choices, etc. (it is fun to use semi-colons!  I think I like the “air quotes” better). I do, however, respect their right to exist…..we don’t all have to like each other; I respect their right to make choices; I respect their right to live and die in any way they choose. I could use most of the words above. Maybe leave a few out, maybe add a few. But, it wouldn’t be that difficult to take this loving tribute and make it a celebration of that person’s life. Even if I didn’t consider them a role model. Hell….especially if I didn’t consider them a role model.

Which brings me to the next…….what if everyone treated everyone that way???????? You know, before they died? What if we treated people without judgment? What if we respected people without judgment?

Wouldn’t it be nice? (A fantastic song I would have shared but, the lyrics didn’t match my story)

The obit gave you a positive glimpse into the departed and a positive glimpse into the writer. Everybody wins. Nobody was dishonest. I can’t see where anyone could be offended.  Just some rambling thoughts on a Sunday.