There is restlessness in me that I can't define. It isn't nerves, it isn't anxiety but I feel like I should be somewhere or like I should be doing something. Basically, my job is done. I have no little ones to worry about. What is here, is what it is. I have a difficult time accepting that. All my life, I feel I have worried about my family and tried to be there for them. The difficult part is they do not need me anymore. Talk about empty nest syndrome.
I try to think back when my Mom was in her late years and we were all grown up and how she must have felt. I can remember my sister and I, feeling a sense of obligation to be there for her.
She had numerous heart attacks in her last years, so it was touch and go. We went to the hospital an average of 2 to 3 times a month. There she would be, hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment in the Intensive Care Unit. She would apologize to us for having to come to see her again. We weren't obligated to, it's just who we were. The doctor would call my sister and she would call the rest of us. Then we were off to the hospital. My Mother would always manage a smile and tell us, “He isn't ready for me, yet”. It got so routine that we lost sight of what was happening. We were just relieved she was going to be OK. One Thursday evening she called me and said she was having terrible shoulder pain. I was at a loss what to do for her.
She ended up in the hospital again that evening and stayed for 2 weeks. We all went to see her and she was getting better and we figured it was just another scare. My brother went to pick her up on a Saturday morning. It was his birthday, so the date will never be forgotten. He went to her room and the bed was empty. He went to the desk and asked where she was. They told him she had passed away 6:30 am, that morning. No one got the call. My brother was devastated. He immediately called one of us and the news traveled. Of course, I didn't believe it. I saw her the night before. She wasn't happy about having to go live with my sister and her husband. She wasn't really given a choice. My sister stated it as a fact.
To this day, I believe she made her choice. Worrying about losing her independence and becoming a burden, she brought on a massive heart attack and died. I was very close to my mother as was my sister. I remember being so angry, no one called us. What could we have done, nothing. I remember her grabbing my hand and shaking her head “no” when my sister said she had to come live with her. I thought it was for the best. I was wrong.