Stellie Pearl's Thoughts......

I Keep Hoping That My Tomorrows Will Catch Up With Yesterday

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Good Old Days Don't Last Forever

When you're young, you never think about what your life is going to be like when you are older. At least I didn't think about it. When you're young, and happy with your life, you tend to believe that things will ALWAYS be good...that is what I thought.

Throughout the different stages in my life, things have changed slowly. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the not-so-good. Then, it is later on, that we reflect on those happy times and think "I can't believe that things are not the way that they used to be."

For instance, I lived at home with my mom until I was 24 years old. We both worked, and came home exhausted. We took turns cooking dinner. My aunt (my mom's sister) stopped by our house every evening on her way home from work and had dinner with us, and then we all had cups of hot tea, and talked.

My mom's other sister lived right down the road. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, we would go to her place and have coffee...sometimes spending the day together shopping. Every Christmas, she would host an Open House and fix tons of food and invited everyone. When I moved to Florida, I missed those Open Houses every year. But there was some comfort in knowing that she was still having other aunt was still stopping by my mom's every evening after work for dinner and hot tea....things were the same, only I was not there.

I think of the past now, and grow melancholy. The present is filled with harsh realities...some of which I never even dreamed that I would face; My mom is in a nursing home, with a broken hip and mild dementia. My aunt that came every night for dinner has multiple sclerosis, and lives in a nursing home in Kentucky. She and my mom haven't seen each other in years. My other aunt passed away in her sleep 6 years ago. She was there one day, and gone the next.

When we were young, my cousin Dawn and I used to lament about things changing. We hated change of any kind. If the radio station that we listened to changed their format, it was the end of the world for us. My dad used to always tell us "Things have to change. If things stayed the same all of the time, it would get boring." We used to stare at him as if he had three heads. He just didn't get it.

All I have now are photos and the memories of the past. It hurts my heart...especially at Christmastime, that my loved ones are no longer in close proximity; that some of them are sick or gone forever; It. Just. Hurts.

Aunt Jo, Aunt Jackie and Mom


  1. Missy, this is such a lovely and bittersweet post. You are incredibly lucky to have those photos and memories, and to have had these three women in your life. Yes, it's unfortunate how things turned out for them - and you - but it's just life, isn't it? These photos and memories are a gift to be treasured, hopefully more with gladness of heart rather than sadness.

    So, they have officially discussed your mom having dementia? Then that explains so much about how she treats you, doesn't it? It certainly doesn't change how you feel about how she treats you, but it does put a different slant on it. I can remember my dad turning on me as if it was yesterday, the irrationality of it and the extreme hurt. And we couldn't discuss it or talk it through, because what was fueling his thoughts was the alzheimers that was changing his reality. The social work kept telling me not to take it personally (when I was sitting in her office sobbing), but how can you not? In my HEAD I understood, but the heart is a different matter.

    Again, lovely but bittersweet post, Missy.

  2. I can identify with much of what you're describing here.

    The trials of dementia, juxtaposed against the memories of happy, delightful times.

    Probably the contrast between the two is bittersweet. But the good memories...these we can cling to!