Warning Label.

The universe needs to come up with warning labels on everything so that I’m never, ever inadvertently saddened by something that had absolutely nothing to do with me.

I recently put a bunch of blogs in my feed reader to get to at a later time.

I happily sat down to start reading the 302 things in my reader tonight.  I’m tired and moderately grouchy. It’s my own fault.  I was out way too late last night with old friends which was totally worth it.  But, you know, now I’m tired.  That means that my mood can turn on a dime, even more so than on the days when I’m well-rested and more properly hinged.

Anyway, I start reading this new blog that I know nothing about, except that this woman has had some recognition in the blogging community.  In the first post I read, I find out she’s wheelchair bound, in a nursing home and talking about her family leaving her there on Christmas.  (Please don’t misunderstand, I’m sure the blog is great and in fact other posts she wrote, because of course I kept reading, were good.)

Inevitably, when I read things about women with children who are in nursing homes (and a variety of other far less obvious things) I can’t help but think of my own mother and myself and our situation.  And, as you could imagine, it’s depressing.

Usually, I joke and laugh off the situation and act like it was all totally normal.  I will tell you the story matter-of-factly as though most people have moms who go into a wheelchair the night of their high school graduation and just never get out of it.  And it’s absolutely common place for a 25 year old to have to call a family meeting to tell her mother that she just can’t live home anymore and she has to go to a nursing home.  And that 25 year old, with the help of others, will pack up the whole house, sell it (and 75% of the contents) and it will all be done and taken care of and it’s just normal.  This stuff just happens every day.

And then, I read things like that blog, and like a punch in the stomach it hits me how immensely NOT NORMAL it all was.  It just isn’t.  It’s sad and infuriating and depressing.  That was my mother – not some random woman, not some blog that I’m reading about.  She was the woman who gave birth to me and raised me and I lived in her house with her for 22 years.

And now, after all of the crazy nonsense, she is gone.

Allow me to digress for one moment.  She isn’t gone, like on vacation, she’s dead.  All that stuff happened and then one day it just stopped happening.  Just like that.  She died.  And I generally talk about that like she went out to run an errand or something and she’ll be back in a few minutes.  But that isn’t what happened.

So I’m sure I’m a therapist’s dream.  I’m sure that if provoked there would be floodgates opening or whatever other metaphor there is for people having a complete emotional breakdown.

In a way I’m annoyed that I read that blog.  It turned me off to reading tonight and then I felt the need to write this.  Honestly, I started out sad and now I’m just angry.  At this moment, I have no idea if I’ll hit publish.  I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or to feel badly or even to make them sad.  I don’t want some other random person who can identify with this to have that punch in the gut moment.

Normal people (and we’ve established that I’m not, despite desperate attempts to appear as such) would talk about their feelings.  But not me.  I’ll either save this indefinitely as a draft or I’ll hit publish and people will read this and I still won’t deal with it because by the time anyone reads this I’ll be out of this mood and back into safe mode and I’ll just pretend like it didn’t happen to me but it happened to some other person, some other family.

And life goes on.  SpongeBob is going to end and I have to give my kid a bath and put him to bed.  I’ll eat dinner, watch TV, go to sleep and wake up tomorrow and just go about my business.  Because really, what else am I going to do?  And I’ll be normal and no one will know if I’m in the midst of a moment or if I’m not or what I’m thinking.

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