Monday, February 25, 2013

Without You...

I can't stop crying this morning.  And it's a combination of me being silly and way too much going on.

Or maybe not so silly, but I do have to wonder how I'm going to react when my parents go or my godmother, or someone who is in my day to day life...

A nun I've known, pretty much all my life (I was three when we met) passed away yesterday.  She was stern and and serious and she expected you do to exactly as she said, and as scared as I could be of her when I was little, and as frustrated and angry as she made me as a teenager, I sit here blubbering over her.  I haven't seen her for more than a decade.  But there was something about her always being there and now not, that is messing with my head.  There was always something to read about her in my high school newsletter - yes, I still get them.  And even more yes, I went to a high school that produces quarterly magazines.

And this realization is making me laugh.  Because if it hadn't been for her, I don't think my mom would have gotten the nerve up to have me even apply.  In so many peoples' eyes she was just "the help."  But not in Sr.'s.  And her children should have just as much a chance to make it in the world as anyones.  And that also boosts my heart (to bursting a little... And I'm also sure the waterworks will follow in just a bit...they're just giving me a chance to breathe, you know, so I can maybe wail a little bit.)

Sr. was my mom's boss for 18 years.  She was my principal.   She was what an adult in power should be and act like.  Those were some pretty big comfortable shoes to fill by subsequent leaders of the school.  I couldn't tell you if they succeeded; when I left I left for good, as it were.

And yet, my one forever-memory of her is what she told my mom when I up-ended my life and got myself on a sailboat to Mexico:  "How exciting."  Which was not what my mom expected to hear at all.  Sr. was proud (!) that I was having my adventures when I was young (in my twenties) and not waiting until later, because, well, what if there aren't any laters?  As I sit here with a battered hip and a messed up posterior tibialis tendon, a slipped disk, and really tired shoulder...NONE of which the sailboat gave me thankyouverymuch, I have to agree.  I don't think I could do the sailboat thing now, much less in my 50s or 60s as my fellow cruisers were.  Not with my battle scars.  (Or do they magically get better after you retire?  That would be awesome.) And it was her, ah, blessing on the matter that made my mom not exactly /like/ what I was doing, but bring her much closer to being okay with having a crazy-pants daughter.

When I opted to move to Tahoe instead of LA, totally okay.  Seattle?  Sounds like a plan.  I think in her head she thinks (and maybe I agree) that I'm still adventuring a little, because she never really got a chance to.   I promise to settle down some day, really.

So thank you Sr.  As mean and horrible as I thought you were (ah those teenaged years), I also loved and respected you so very much for everything you did for my mom, my dad, my brothers, and me.  And though we never moved beyond the Sr.-is-not-a friend relationship (do as your told!) And I KNOW I never hugged you, I will miss you so very much.

And now I need to go cry a little more so I can put on a braver face at work...I have an interview I need to be in a lot better shape for than I am right now.  Oh life, you are nothing if not challenging.

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