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It's not just the fact that no-one was here for Mother's Day and I went on all day with doing just the normal things, it is not just the fact that I ring them and they rarely ring me but it is also the fact that until it happens to them they will not know how lonely being on your own as a late middle aged person is.  No, no never.  So I was sad on the actual day and still am in a way.  Happy Mother's Day Mum would have sounded so good in the morning and sounded so silly at the end of the day when you hear it on a recorded message.  It is pathetic really but  I just want to scream:  "Is this the best you can do?"

So you can see how I feel, I'm not hiding it from the widow and widowers and bereaved people on here because you understand.  I do hide it from my peers.  "How are the kids?" they ask.  "Fine," I answer, "I was talking to....this past week and they are doing..." And I smile.  What a hypocrite I really am.  Why don't I tell them how I feel?  We all know the answer to that, because they would not understand. How could they understand.  I remember how often on the Lifeline (suicide line) phones I heard some elderly person say:  "They have forgotten me after all I did for them." and I am starting to say that myself.

I really do need to get a life.  I really do need to find things to do that I am happier doing.  I really do need...well you know what I am talking about because a lot of you are probably saying the same thing.  I need basically to find out what I want to do and do that. And two years and 8 months after the passing of my dear Ray I still do not know what that means.  What do I want?  I want someone with me to do all the things I had planned on doing and that does not look like it is going to happen any time soon so I need to cull that list down to the bare bones and ask myself what I want to be doing that can be done alone and with not a lot of money.

Life is not all about me.  My next door neighbour is going through all the angst of putting his ancient father who has lived with him for the past 18 months into care.  The dear old soul can really not walk independently now and has had falls and doesn't eat much, wants to sleep all day, is subject to infections etc and it is obvious that he needs full-time care but the decision is still hard, so a banging on the front door means my neighbour wants to discuss this with me.  For me that is recalling the angst I felt when I made that decision myself about my own mother 14 years ago now. We all have those buttons that get pushed from time to time.  I can't tell him to go away as he has no-one else who would understand to tell but I will be glad when it is over.

And of course we are heading into winter so short colder windier days, the deceptive sunshine that seems strong but has no warmth in it when I go outside to sun bathe.  The neighbourhood starts to look deserted with closed curtains and shut doors so even if I do go for a walk there in no-one to talk to whereas in summer they are all out in their front gardens, in winter they are all snuggled down with their families around them and us more senior widows are on our own.  Poor, poor pitiful me.

So off I have to go, armed with a big smile, doing my hospital visits, cheering up the old and lonely in the nursing home, Sue on the job.  Wishing I was somewhere else but doing the rounds of what is my duty in the church.  Does it come across okay?  Apparently so, they are pleased to see someone come in to push the boredom and isolation away, to reassure them that they are not forgotten that someone has remembered them.   And they, also ancient widows, will smile and tell me yes, their son did ring on Mother's Day, of course it would have been wonderful if he had actually come for a visit but these young people, they are always so busy you know (selfish) and so he couldn't manage to come up from Sydney this time.  And I will see tears in her eyes that reflect my own.

Public holidays and sentimental holidays are hard on widows and widowers.  We all remember back to when we were important to others, when the kids feted us and spoilt us and made us feel special, or maybe that never really happened that way and we just rolled several events into one and it seemed like they did.  Because if they are selfish now they were probably selfish back then but we just passed it off with a smile and let them get away with it.  I guess we reap what we sow. 

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Comment by Callie2 on May 12, 2015 at 8:51pm
Sorry you're feeling down Sue. I do understand your feelings and they are not wrong. I guess it is possible your kids had other plans for the day and didn't get around to calling you earlier. I think kids think we should always be home for whatever time they decide to call or come around. Not necessarily selfish but thoughtless on their end. Maybe some time in conversation, you could interject your feelings as in how much their calls and visits mean to you, and that you wish they could call earlier in the day when you are home.(hint, hint)

It sounds like you are important to a lot of other people. Taking the time to listen to your neighbor is a very kind thing to do, and I know sometimes these things are very difficult when we're trying to heal ourselves. No one wants to put a parent into a nursing home, but sometimes it's the best or only alternative. I doubt the folks in the nursing home think you are unimportant, you know you brightened their day!

We try to fill that void in our lives and it's not an easy thing to do. I know I have asked myself many times what do I want? Still haven't figured it out! I do know I want to be as happy as I can be. Living in the present and not worrying about the future as much is what I try to do.
Comment by vintage56(barb) on May 12, 2015 at 4:05am

(((hugs))) Sue, you deserve better than that. I never had kids but DH had 4 from previous marriages. Very seldom got a call or anything on Father's Day. I never had a super great relationship with my Dad but I always remembered to call him on holidays.

It is tough as you get older, you tend to depend on your family more even as they are developing their own lives. Friends may have passed away and it is hard to make new ones. It is good that you are doing friendly visiting, think of how much happiness you are providing. Some of it is bound to come back to you.

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