Okay okay, I know you’re all on the edge of your seats waiting right?
Well, Tarzan was a success! Oh my gosh! We walked in to see mom (I will have pics soon) wearing apes ears and all the therapy people were all dressed up. There was Tarzan (who is someone I know, a fellow improviser by happenstance) and Jane, a narrator and two other adorable girls in apes ears too. Mom was cool and collected, surprisingly, and looked happy.
A lot of these little therapist girls brought their friends along which was really sweet, and right about showtime there were probably 20 of us waiting for the show? And all of a sudden the cavalcade of wheelchairs appeared, residents of Westminster who had just finished their meals, all came streaming in, one after the other.
Mom’s show was a “workshop” so everyone had scripts and such, and of course some of it was messy and the Jane couldn’t really sing a word (my god what a brave and awesome woman to get up and do that for my mother) but it was beautiful and wonderful, and mom’s apes dance was touching and hilarious. We were all so proud; one lady in the audience kept shouting BRAVA! Over and over, it was great. Afterwards mom was happy and relieved and the family and friends went and had pizza and laughed and told old family stories, it was so….nice. Sometimes I can’t believe the kindness of people. All these people took hours out of their Friday, the Friday before Christmas, to come to an old folks home and make sure my mother had one of the greatest nights of her life. The kindness of strangers can be overwhelming.
Oh, I’ve rewritten and erased the next few paragraphs so many times.
The rest of Christmas was not as bright and cheery as that night, so many changes are occurring in my family’s life. I know that next year will probably be radically different than any Christmas we’ve had before. There is some serious pain and unhappiness that have enveloped our holidays since mom’s stroke, pressures and stresses we’ve never encountered before. And I know that we need to deal with this with Fierce Grace, putting away childish things, realizing that things are never going to be as they were before.
But to move on to the new dynamic, I must first mourn the old one. I miss my family the way we were, I miss my mom, I miss looking forward to Christmas with hope instead of dread. I miss the days when my brothers and I could just laugh, instead of trying to deal with a mother who is not exactly positive in her thoughts and actions. I wish I had known John better before all this happened, he never got to see my family as we were, and I have a hard time explaining to him exactly what it is we’ve lost.
I’ll be gaining a “new” family next year, and I’m very happy for that. But what I want most is my old family back, and that my dear, is precisely what I cannot have. And this happened to be the Christmas when I realized it like a brick wall in my face.
So I will treasure Mom’s starring night with Tarzan, and the wonderful party afterwards. I will hold on to that memory like you wouldn’t believe, and will do my damndest to look forward to the future, to whatever it is that my family morphs into and will do my best to make sure that we grow into something worthy of the love, humor and intelligence that we all share.