There are, and have been a lot of “things” going on in my life and in my mind lately. Trying to pick out one of those “things” as important enough to share with my blog audience has kept me from my duty here. The most likely thing; the most important thing is something that I’m just not willing to share with many people … so, I won’t. Beyond that one thing, however, is the simple issue of, now that Mom is gone, how do I direct the remainder of my own life?
Obviously there are many things in my life, many paths trod, that she had nothing to do with, generally because I knew what her opinion would be if she knew, and therefore avoided making her privy to them. But that didn’t mean her opinion wasn’t an influence in those trails trod. I can’t think of a single instance where her opinion wasn’t at least considered for a moment or two. When I was much younger I was more likely to put her likely opinions out of my mind so I could proceed with whatever course of action I, read that “George,” was embarking upon. At those times there was inevitably, somewhere in the background, Granny’s voice reminding me that she would “jerk me bald-headed”.
When it came to “me” and my life, Mom’s opinions became far more critical to my thought processes. And that … is where conscience meets the dividing line between reality and imagination.
The imagination is whispering that she is hovering over me, watching every move, hearing every word and worse yet … reading my mind. But the reality is that she is no longer here to judge my actions, and that is an unfamiliar feeling. I feel as though for the first time in my 70 years I am finally, truly emancipated. I’m not sure how to handle that unfamiliar feeling. On one hand I want to explode with sheer unrestrained joy, but on the other hand I’m saddled with the old, all too familiar sense of guilt because of the joy.
If I’m totally honest, I know that the former emotion will win out over the second because the sense of emancipation is a powerful influence. The question is, where will that spirit of emancipation ultimately lead me? In line with being totally honest … I really don’t have a clue because I don’t know what the future holds with respect to possibilities. I know some of what I want to do, but each of those options has some prerequisite conditions over which I either have no control, or no knowledge of, at this point in time.
When I was in my early teens there was a television show called The Millionaire. In each episode a certain fictitious millionaire named John Beresford Tipton assigned his assistant to deliver a check for one million tax free dollars to an individual Tipton had selected previously. I used to dream endlessly about what I would do with a million dollars. Always in the back of my mind were the various unhappy results of the unearned fortunes depicted in the show.
When I was in my mid thirties, investments Dad had made along with some of my own meager investments paid off handsomely, but I subsequently lost all of it through pure unadulterated ego and ignorance. Now, at 70, by means of Mom’s death and the resulting dispersal of her estate I will have a small sum coming to me and I find that I’m filled with trepidation at the memory of my past handling of money, earned and unearned. In recent history I have done a much better job than in the past and that fact encourages me.
The aforementioned sense of emancipation coupled with the impending windfall is what creates the greatest sense of optimistic anticipation for my future. I am keenly aware that I must be careful and wise in my choices. I remember all too well previous foolishness and bad judgment.
Bottom line? As I enter my 24th year of sobriety I know that I can only live one day at a time, and that the outcome of each of those days is completely in the hands of God. However, as much as I would like to say that I’m completely at peace with His decision, whatever that brings, there is a part of me that wants to stomp my feet like a small child, pout and whine if the outcome is less than I hope for.