I had a surprise couple of days to myself. Mom has a friend in town who likes to go the Smokies, and since that is where mom’s trailer home in the mountains is, this friend will often call mom and suggest a little road trip. Mom’s place is high up on a mountain just between Waynesville and Sylva just outside of the Smoky National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Truly a beautiful spot in the world.
Mom grew up in Peoria, IL but the family moved to Miami in the ’40s, and is where mom met dad and why we all ended up being born and growing up in Miami. Family vacations were often to the Smokies. When I think about it now it seems so strange that we are now living in this area of the world. This was where we vacationed, not a spot we were going to settle. But something about the Blue Ridge Mountains always drew us to them.
A little piece of land was owned by my dad’s dad who then gave it to my mom when they divorced and she put a little trailer up there on the mountain. And for years she would leave Miami for a few weeks every summer and go live there. And at that time the place had no electricity or running water. So mom would trek up there and be all rustic mountain camping woman for many summers.
But she still lived in Miami and then Homestead. And then Hurricane Andrew came to visit in August ’92 and that was the impetus for her move to Knoxville. So then she was even closer to her mountain home and after a few years in an apartment in Knoxville she decided she would save some money (saving money is one of her THINGS) and go live permanently on the mountain. And even though it was a little old trailer with the occasional mouse visit (more than occasional in later years) she had a sweet little life going on up there.
I came down here to live and help out and was traveling from Knoxville to Balsam every other week until 2 years ago when a rock slide and an aging trailer and mother brought another transition to pass and now mom lives with me full-time.
And its been a trip. And it hasn’t been easy. My mother is like no one else. And while on many levels that is both a wonder and a delight, in so very many other ways it, she, is a constant challenge.
I’m not a big fan of challenges. : ) So I’m enjoying my second and final night/morning of having my house to myself.
So I don’t really know what I’m doing here. I think I had an idea that this could be a way of journaling as well as trying to record some of the changes I see happening to mom in these her final years. I’m probably going to want to write about …you know, death. I’ve seen a lot and obviously there is more to come. And its all so weird.
And I wanted to maybe see if my blabbing about my challenges helped anyone else going through similar things….the living with the aging mother and the Parkinson’s brother-in-law kind of things. I’d love to be deep and profound but I think those days are done, if they ever existed.
Lastly, I want to know how doing a blog is NOT a self absorbed thing to do. Especially because the things I might feel a need to write about are how mom is so intensely self absorbed and how self absorbed people aren’t easy to live with. But in the very act of writing this all down, doesn’t that make ME self absorbed?