In the Beginning

Signs.

There were so very many signs that things were “wrong.” For years we’d laugh them off. Or wonder how she forgot. Or thought she was joking. She would, sometimes, say she was joking after she would realize she’d said something errantly.

How many times had we helped search for her missing upper or lower dentures? I literally cannot remember. She called me on at least two seperate occasions, after Daddy passed away, to ask for help finding her keys. She needed to go to the store, but her keys were lost. They were always right where she left them…in the lock of her door, on the outside.

She would tell others’ stories as her own. Truly believing she lived them. There was no convincing her otherwise.

Her anger was always at the ready. Ok. That was reserved for Daddy and me. My brother, whom I call the Golden Child, never got to experience her true ire. I have never known why Daddy and I were the lucky ones.

Mama quit walking normally sometime around 2005, after she fell and broke her arm. Hasn’t raised her knees to take a step since that time. It may have started as a fear of falling, but it quickly became a habit. Her gait became a slow shuffle. It gets slower as time passes.

Daddy died in October 2009 after knowing he had stage 4 lung cancer for 3 weeks. God bless his soul, but he was a good man. And I’m not just saying that because he’s dead. He genuinely was a top fellow. But, he had spoiled his wife. Which made life very difficult for me when it was decided a few months after his great departure, that I should move in with her. My oldest daughter got married and my youngest daughter, still in high school, lived with her Nanny and myself, along with my chihuahua, Jack.

At first things seemed pretty fair. I paid half of the bills. Pretty good deal, since the house was paid for  there was no rent. But, soon Mama said I was taking advantage of her. That I should pay more since there were 2 of us and only 1 of her. Well, I was already moved in. What could I do? So, she increased the amount I was giving her each month. She would argue with me for opening the bag of one kind of chips when the other kind was already open. She flew crazy mad one Sunday because I drove a different way home from church. She jumped all over me one night around midnight because I had fallen asleep on the couch. One night I was having trouble sleeping (which was not then and is still not unusual for me) and she totally lost it because she found me in the living room at 5 a.m.

I could keep going, but I will end this part by saying, after a little over 3 yrs it finally came to blows. She literally was trying to hit me. I had to hold her arm by the wrist to keep her from doing so. Her anger had finally become too much for me to live with.

By this time (2014), my youngest was in college. (She was very grateful to be OUT of the “crazy house” when she moved on campus.) I moved into an apartment close to her school and she moved in with me.

Ahhhh. Peace.

Right?