For two nights in a row I have slept like crap. Dreams, yes dreams are what kept me waking up. The first night I had dreams that my kids were chasing me. My arms were being pulled apart as different kids had words being hurled at me and I didn’t know which way to go.
I got through that by only waking up one time. It was a fairy-tale ending so to speak. I remember everyone in my dream was smiling in the end. Those are the best dreams aren’t they?
Last night’s dream woke me up at least three times. When I went back to sleep I picked up where the dream had left off. It was a strange dream and yet familiar. I kept hearing bells. I had another dream last month where it had to do with Al and bells.
Last night bells kept going off. Tinker type bells, not big, piercing bells. I would wake up to see Al standing at the foot of my bed and he would say nothing but smile at me. When my eyes were fully awake I would see nothing.
I dreamed of many times Al and I had gone to flea markets in Florida and I could hear the conversations that we had once shared. I had visions of trips we took to this flea market in Kentucky. It was as if I was re-living the real scene all over. I remember Al rushing down the aisles to see if there was any coke items and if there wasn’t he would sit down and wait. This was always irritating to me and I remember trying to teach him that we were at the flea market not just for him, but for me also.
I saw dad’s drooling from his mouth and his lip quivering and I am pretty sure that my own thoughts of having Parkinson’s Disease now is what caused that part of my dream. The bells though; this is what kept waking me up. I don’t know how many times i heard them but each time Al would appear at the end of the bed.
I never got out of bed until late this morning, and then I was woken by a phone call from distant relatives. Have you had that happen to you also? Someone who has hurt you and hasn’t spoken to you for years now is calling?
It brings back all the pain and hurt. The conversations do not feel real. Suspicion on what is really wanted enters the back door. There was a lot of, way too much of drama that happened when my dad was ill.
I took care of my dad myself pretty much, as far as doctor appointments, and physical care was concerned. My dad was my hero and he and I had talked very intent conversations towards the end.
I hurt for my dad when people he thought would come see him did not and ugly words were tossed around from those who didn’t help care for him. They were just ugly times. I somehow made it through it and was able to suppress the ugly and remember the gold of my dad.
Then there was my brother. People wanting things they thought he had. Few calls were made from the family that Al most wanted to hear from. If it were not for my caregivers and my best friend, Al and I would have suffered through Al’s illness alone.
Deep pain still exists from those years and I hate to sound selfish; but I don’t want to be reminded of it today. I am trying to heal. I sometimes think that my daughter makes a very valid point today. When our dad died, Al had his heart attack exactly one week after we buried dad. I never had a chance to mourn my idol, before I was thrust into the caregiver part of taking care of Al the next seven years. Now the mourning process is terrible. I didn’t expect it to go on this long. My daughter says I am most likely mourning not just losing Al, but dad also; causing this huge void in my life.
So when the phone call came in this morning it brought everything rushing back again. The sour words, the lack of concern, the threats. I am sure I played parts in causing pain, but I believe that most decisions I made were to protect my brother.
He had on the surface a wonderful life, but if you talked to Al, you were able to learn and see that many of his emotional problems stemmed from his estranged life with his dad. Pain runs deep and if it can’t be healed or is continued to draw on for years, the damages are not easily healed.
When I learned of Al’s true feelings I protected him at all cost, even if it meant hurting others or them not understanding. I did what I did. I have this huge hang up today with living in or with the past.
The whys and what ifs eat me up. Did I ever mention that am perfect? No, because I know I am not. I am human and sometimes I have made decisions based on being hurt or as I said to protect Al.
All in all though, I got to know another side of Al that no one else did. I feel lucky. I feel happy that I was able to provide him with as much as I could. I was able to see more smiles from him than I saw in his entire youth.
If no one else understands why or how I feel this way my only answer is they should have quit standing on the outside judging and remembered they were once close and got themselves involved in Al and my life.
For those who are lucky enough to have a close knit family still today, good for you. For those who have been hurt by family members and the resolving of issues still carries with you, you understand my feelings today.
Today is going to be one of those times where once again I am reminded of all the past. I am going to spend a tiny amount of time facing these who hurt me. Phone conversations are no different. Familiar voices now faded in my mind, come rushing back at the sound of the phone ringing.
I am going to miss my family here very much. No matter what reasons anyone thinks I am moving away, I have no doubt they really understand. I need to get away. No, I have to get away. Tongue lashings, sad memories, death and trying to heal need to be placed on a shelf marked, task completed. I can’t go on with the rest of my days being reminded. I feel like I deserve a fresh start, even if it is at the age of 60. Discovering I now have Parkinson’s Disease makes me a little scared. I never want to be a burden to anyone but I may need help. This is a major decision I am getting out of my hone and away from these terrible winters.
I realize that some or all of this conversation between you and me may be confusing; but writing for me; it makes me sit just a little bit taller as I continue to try to re-build who I once was. Thank-you for caring for me these past two years you have come to know me my dear friends. Thank-you for seeing the good in me and not judging me.
Sometimes family is not only that of blood, it is those who walked beside me when the air was thick.