Saturday, April 14, 2012

Talk Thursday: Caterpillar

Coming home from McDonald’s Friday night I seriously considered writing a blog about the sad part of a caterpillars life and why I should not like to be said bird fodder: A lack of Micky Dee’s fries. Yes, when you’re hungry on a Fast Food Friday and you’ve been striving so very hard to stay on your diet, hot out of the fryer McDonald’s fries with a generous helping of vein hardening salt is to die for. Obviously I had no idea how to approach caterpillar as a topic.

Except for something that happened on Easter Sunday, something I’d been mulling over and rehashing all week long, brought me an epiphany about my mother. The worst part is that I’ve been saying this all along, but I guess the totality hit me. My mother is all about dying. Honest.

As a daughter, she was dutiful, loving, and ardent about paying forward family traditions. As a sister she was the strong one, the sister who was the older, the stronger, the dependable one. As a wife, she left her well appointed home to live with a man for the rest of his life, that at best her mother called “White Trash”. She got my father out of debt, saved her coupon money to build a portfolio, and kept our family solvent. As a mother she gave each of her kids the best of herself – she was a Girl Scout leader, a member of the PTA, she was a Den Mother, worked the snack shack at baseball and softball games, to say the least she was involved in each of her children’s lives.

In the early 1970’s my parents bought a trailer park and moved us to Oregon. My father renovated the business grounds and buildings, my mother made it a full functioning business, giving herself to it twenty four seven three sixty five for more than twenty years. When someone in the park needed help remaining independent, my mother was there to help them – daily. Then they moved, my father’s health finally started declining at a rapid pace (please don’t smoke) and my mother became no only my father’s wife, but his care giver – that same old twenty four seven three sixty five until the day he died, over four years ago.

The only time she left my father alone is when we went to England for three weeks. Traipsing through the English and Scottish country side seemed to thrive in the adventure and history of it all. My father has long gone, and yet my mother has made only two trips to Georgia to see my brother. She loves living by herself for the first time ever. She gives two hours on Wednesday to the area library. The rest of the time my mom builds these amazing quilts (but they are never good enough to show in the local quilt guild events) and takes care of her property (five acres south of town) with Ducky’s help.

As a child I was fascinated with caterpillars, loved learning about its metamorphic journey to chrysalis and then evolving into the beautiful butterfly it was meant to be. As I grew, matured, evolved into who I’ve become I have seen the parallels of human life to the caterpillars’ metamorphous journey through its life.

Someday, I’m sure my daughter will be come concerned about my willingness to live life or lack there of. I hope she knows how to approach her concerns. But in the way of my mother, I have no idea how to get her to live. She is forever conscience about making sure everything is as easy as possible for us “kids” when she passes. She is concerned that she will have enough money to last her life… take my word for it, my mother turned her coupon money into a $300k portfolio and her property is work easily half a mill, even in today’s market. She is concerned that she will be come a burden, I could kick my brother’s ass for that one. She is concerned that her property is too much of a burden on Roger and I, my fabulous brother in law is responsible for that, honestly Cap and Crown guy has no reason to fear, we’re not going to ask him for help.

Why can’t she fulfill her dreams and travel? I want my mom to live. I want the chrysalis to morph into the beautiful butterfly I know that is cocooned deep down in side. Mom, spread your wings and fly, no for me, not for Pinecone, Butch, or Buddy, but for yourself – you so deserve it.



Donavan said...

Perhaps she's already transformed - many times. I love the metaphor of the caterpiller. I personally don't think transformation is a one-time thing.

Beautiful on so many levels. And so are you, dear one.