1. So here I am, flying back to SC for what will likely be the last time. I’m on my way to Mom’s house. She’s sold the house (in less than 48 hours, holy crap, and for more than asking), downsized, and packed up most of what’s left. It’s a weird feeling,this. My parents moved around for my Dad’s job all my life—hither and thither, one coast to the other, and wherever they were, I called home. Home is a powerful word. Maybe the MOST powerful. The one that gets you in the gut. The one that brings up allllll the emotions. All my life, wherever my Mom was……was home. Dad might be at sea. Or on a contract in Iran … or some other equally distant country or state or place he couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about. He’s gone now, and home is where Mom is.
After Dad died, I knew she wouldn’t make any decisions for at least a year (she’s smart that way), but I also made a case for her to move to NM. I missed her and worried so much…kinda selfish, but I had my reasons. She got so skinny after Dad died, I nearly moved home just to feed her. About a year and half after Dad passed, and after I’d been home two or three more times, she informed me that it was time for her to move to New Mexico.
WHAT?! Whoa. I was thrilled, but dang, that was…unexpected. I figured, being an hour from my brother, she’d just stay nearby, but I secretly hoped...otherwise. The changes in the real estate market (thank you Pandemic)…..well, she sold her house—the acre and a half of green lushness, birds, flowers, landscaping. I went madly about the Albuquerque Metro Area checking out 55+ apartments (but NOT assisted livings—that was a hard stop) and found a fantastic building only 15 minutes away). And now, I’m on a jet plane, somewhere over …. Mississippi (oh, home of my childhood), headed to Mom’s house to finish the packing and accompany her (and her cat, Smokey), cross-country to her new home in New Mexico.
To be fair, it’s not totally NEW (that might be too much of a shock, it ain’t exactly “lush” here. Green we got, but it’s … different). Dad’s last two consulting gigs were out here (one at Los Alamos and one at WIPP in Carlsbad), and to be fair, she’s seen the best (Northern New Mexico) and the worst (Eastern New Mexico) of the Land of Enchantment. Hell, she’s seen more than me. I never did get down past Roswell….
She’s hella brave…my Mom. To recap. She escapes from Poland on foot the age of 4, just ahead of the Russian army, lives as a refugee in Germany until 11, when the family comes to American as displaced persons in 1952. Speaks little English, goes to high school, marries the bad-boy high-school football star (who never graduated and had his own demons), has a couple of kids, travels the country, succeeds in a career in medicine, gets a business degree, get cancer, survives cancer, and retires happily. She and Dad travel; do the car show thing, and just enjoy life (I think). Then Dad passes, she grieves, and finally sells the house, sells half her stuff, packs up a lifetime…. And moves. One more time. My Mom is 79. I have no doubt she’ll die in the Land of Enchantment, but I hope we’ll have many more adventures before that day!
I missed a lot of time, living my own life across the country, always far away from wherever she was. I hope to make new memories and be there for her in a way that I always hoped I could. I hope to get my brother to finally, after all my travels, come visit me in the place that “I” live. I hope. Regardless…I’m a happy person on this plane, even with the mask and the election (did I tell you it was Election Day?)
It should be interesting, to say the least.
And … on a totally different topic…. I pray to all the Gods, both great and small, and to Karma, be she kind, that things change in this country today, because ….
Well just because. I don’t need to tell you.
(even if Mom doesn’t agree….we’ve agreed to disagree)
It’s been an interesting day.