All Grown Up
When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?
The loss of my father is really the start of my feeling like a grown up. When your parents are alive, somehow you always feel that you have some sense of stability. When that disappears, you have no safety net to fall back upon (whether there ever was one there or not is another question). My mother’s health went downhill fast after my father died, and she’s become the child in the family. Except there’s a difference between a child and a childlike elderly family member. A child is an investment and has a future. Caregiving for my mother is thankless work with no reward. She hates damned near everything including flowers, candy, TV, reading, meeting other people, and riding anywhere in the car. You’re damned if you try to make her happy, but damned if you don’t.
So life after my father became a series of serious responsibilities. All of a sudden I find that I’m the parent, but not quite because I have to negotiate the responsibilities with brothers who don’t work well together.