Christian Coming of Age Drama

My father had been dead for ten years when I had the dream. Family, has always been such an important part of my life; I, having two parents, six siblings and a million nieces and nephews, and they had broken into even more pieces; so to say I have a big family, and that they have been an enormously important part of my life, is a bit of an understatement...well...HAD...a big family.

At the time of the dream, my mother was still alive and I, in the dream, had been invited to some sort of family function. It felt like a baby shower, or bridal shower, where both family and friends were in attendance, and yet I felt absolutely, utterly alone, as I sat by myself, on the stairs with my plate of goodies. It was the loneliest feeling I had ever experienced. I've been alone, and have felt alone in real life, times past, suicidal and lonely; I knew the feeling well.

In the dream, I arose and left the party, where, I then returned to my childhood residence, where I found my father. He was dead...still. He put his arms around me, embracing me affectionately, as he always used to and said...

"Let's go for a walk."

That, was strange for a dead man to suggest, but walk we did.

"You've lost everything." he said; with a solemn and regret filled tone in his voice.

I could feel the truth of his words, to the depths of my soul, but I didn't understand why, or how, I had lost everything. The family was still there, but I no longer seemed a part of it somehow.

Years later, my eldest brother suffered a massive stroke which left him crippled on his left side. We had also learned that my mother had breast cancer. She didn't believe it could be cancer, she had determined that she had a cyst of some sort; or a polyp, but in the end; it turned out to be cancer. I don't know if it was cancer all along, or if it just became cancer. She had the lump for several years...seven or eight years actually, before deciding to have the lump examined. What had begun as a lump, the size of a large grape, had now become a mass, the size of a large lemon. We, attacked it full on with radical, and extreme, diet changes which really DID help but then her landlord evicted she and my very disabled brother from her home, of nine years; for no good reason. He, wanted to remodel the duplex; so he could sell it, and he was fatigued with waiting for her to die...so he kicked them out. Fortunately, a good friend of mine purchased a little house, out in the mountains, close to us, for them to move into or they would have had nowhere to go. We, searched high and low, but there was just absolutely nothing. By this time, my mother was terribly ill, had just barely survived one round of chemo; and was still lagging a bit, when she was forced to move out. People from the community came to help...many, many people. Moving was usually one of my mothers favorite things to do; she loved decorating her new place, placement of her belongings was almost ritualistic in its importance but she was too sick to do anything but instruct, and direct us, as we tried to do things the way she wanted them done. In the end, she would lay in bed and sob.

As it happened, I was also taking care of my own critically ill child, who suffered from a genetic defect, which was compounded by an acute case of Crohns. I, also had my two young grandchildren, seeing as their mother, my sons wife, was doing time in prison for grand larceny, drug use, and distribution. Now, I would have caring for my dying mother, and seriously disabled brother, to contend with. I honestly didn't mind. I loved my mother and brother so dearly, and I didn't mind; but I was already so overextended. I was absolutely exhausted. In the end, my mother would wind up going to stay with my sister and her husband, a reality my mother had made me swear, MANY TIMES, over the years, that I would never allow to happen to her and yet, there we were. No matter, that I had tried to avoid it, had done my best to intercede; but her condition deteriorated so quickly...she died in the very place she had always very least wanted to be, and I felt totally to blame.

Since her death, our family has utterly fallen apart. Where mom played for us girls to sing, and we sang, and performed, all over the state, doing firesides, Sacrament Meetings, Priesthood parties, women's club parties, as well as other church related activities. We sang in the prison every six months; for years and years...mother planning, and playing; family parties, every holiday was a family event, every birthday a reason to gather and celebrate. All of that came to a shrieking halt. We, haven't gathered as a family, since her death, seven years passed, this last November. Yes...that's right, she passed away just five days before Thanksgiving, and we haven't gathered as a family since. I feel like I have lost everything. My youngest son got married and moved out of state, my eldest boy is just always so busy, my only daughter, will soon be moving to yet another state, and my middle boy has been gone for years. I, haven't clapped eyes on him, in about ten years now. I miss them, I miss my family. I spend some time with my older sister. We go out to dinner and a movie; weather permitting, about once a month, and I so enjoy that. It really does fill an empty space and relieves the aching a great deal.

Life, is just changed, and that horrid, feeling of emptiness, and not belonging, that I felt in the dream, is inescapably present all the time. People who feel alone need to know...you are NOT alone. There are many who suffer; they just try really hard to hide it. As for me, I can tell you this...I will be ever so careful the next time someone dead puts their arms around me then says...

"Let's go for a walk."

January 14, 2023 03:18

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