Recharging the Batteries, Bit by Bit

Since my Dad’s death I’ve taken a deliberately lower profile across all social and electronic media. A combination of grief, depression and simple emotional exhaustion made it prudent to do so. I’ve pulled up and scanned from time to time, been deeply touched by so many of your posts, but simply didn’t have the emotional reserves to provide a cogent answer. Most I could do was quietly pray for you.

Life has remained busy between work, Mom and my kids. Then there are the double D’s:  driving and dating. Entire books could be written on how that is going in our household. Never a dull moment around here that’s for sure.

Healthwise all in my family is doing well for a change and I’m enjoying the relative calm.

Emotionally I’m not yet where I once was but I know from the experience of my wife’s death several years ago, I never quite will be. That’s not a bad thing.  What is developing is yet another “new normal.” This time one involving my mom and I.

Mom absolutely knows that Dad is gone. She just can’t articulate it. She searches for him, makes reference to things he’s left undone, and asks about him regularly, just not by name. She also absolutely is not distraught over his absence. Her mind quickly comes up with a plausible explanation for his absence and she moves on to the next random thought. As I’ve written about before, the most common explanation is that Dad is at “home.”

We had the memorial/celebration dinner a couple of weeks ago. It was Thanksgiving in October. There were tables and tables of food and drink. The staff was overwhelmed. Mom got her favorite of fried chicken and Coca-cola. It was awesome!

I think our visits together are harder for me than for Mom. I’ve moved Mom to a smaller, single room versus the double she and Dad once shared. For Mom it is now home but as I walk to it I can see and stare at their old room. There is a nice picture of Dad in Mom’s new room. It shows Dad a little younger and in much better health. I find myself staring at it, too.

As I did before, I try to make Mom move, which is getting harder and harder for her and to make her laugh.

Lately though I’ve noticed that it is Mom making me laugh instead. I guess a Mom never forgets what her “baby” needs. If I had any doubt, it was erased when I put my head on Mom’s shoulder and she leaned over and kissed me.

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5 Comments on "Recharging the Batteries, Bit by Bit"

Profile photo of Denise
Oct 29, 2012

Hi Jo–It’s so nice to hear from you. :) I’m so glad you took the time you needed. I think that’s what’s great about the site–it’s here when you need it, no matter how much time away you need.

I’m also so glad to hear that everyone is healthy, which brings with it that nice calm.

Your celebration of your dad’s like sounds just wonderful. And, your celebration of your mom’s life continues. :)

Profile photo of
Nov 1, 2012

Hi Jo,

I’m sorry there has to be those “new normals,” and that in receiving, at times they can take our breath away. We know they are part of our lives that help us pave the way and encourage each other – I so appreciate you share that road here Jo.

I understand about the “double D’s”. We have that going on here and it will continue this way unless I calm down and let Abrah practice her driving more (:

I think you are so right in how you explained your mom’s care and concern for you. That is a part of our moms that is always there. I love that she had that kiss for you Jo!

You continue to be such a blessing and provide such a sense of security to your family. I so appreciate your example and the light you always leave here.

Profile photo of ejourneys
Nov 1, 2012

Hi, Jo — I’ve been thinking about you and am glad you took the time for you. I’m grateful that everyone’s health is stable and for that rejuvenating calm — that is, minus the double Ds. :-)

Your mom’s explanations for your dad’s absence remind me of the way my partner comes up with her theories. There is something comforting about using that internal “logic” to make the world an easier place to be. I especially love that your mom makes you laugh and can see your needs so clearly. Amidst so much else, the basic reality of your bond endures.

Profile photo of Pegi
Nov 2, 2012

So sorry your’ve had it so tough. Those “new normals” just seem to be getting harder and harder at times. What a wonderful tribute you had for your father and I loved the picture in my head of you leaning on your Mother’s shoulder and the kiss. What a beautiful. Once a mom always a mom. God Bless.

Profile photo of
Jan 4, 2013

Hi Jo,
This is so beautiful! You describe your situations with such grace and aplomb. Sometimes I think I am with you personally and you are just talking to me! Your Mom sounds delightful! What a great lady she is! (As you are her son, Jo!) Ever since joining this site I feel more and more at peace. I love that you all are here for me whenever I need a hug or a hand. Your responses just glow and flow with care and concern! God love your Mom and you! Blessings!