Every couple of months my mom and I take the day off of work to spend the day together. This usually involves going out to eat for lunch and getting a massage. Last week we had our mother-daughter day. This time it included a back burner task. I decided that we needed to take in all of our old family videos to be saved onto a hard drive. Silly me, I thought that we could drop off the old VHS tapes and be out of there in a half an hour. We ended up being in the store over an hour talking about not only converting our old family videos but also eventually taking the old family photos in to preserve them. I know that I have at least 3 large bins full of pictures to scan. This is going to be a big project.
It was at that point when it really hit me that my parents are getting old. It seems like yesterday that I was going through all of the old pictures with my grandma and great aunt Grace trying to put names to faces. All of my grandparents are gone now. I have only one great aunt left. My mom is the oldest living sibling. My parents are close to 70. Now is the time to work on this huge project with my mom.
It is also the reason that I don’t want my mom reading my blog. She is getting old. I don’t want this to be a reminder of the most difficult times in her life. She finally has a sense of freedom that she never had before. She doesn’t need to be reminded of the hard times. I don’t need to remind her of the day that she was trying to stop Matt from hurting himself during a meltdown. That was the day that she ended up with a black eye and bloody lip. It would be very painful for her to have to remember those days. It is very painful for me. Her life has been very difficult, I want her last years to be happy.
Matt also went to my daughter’s choir concert this past weekend. At one point he became separated from our mother. He became very anxious and agitated pushing through the crowd to find her. I calmly reassured him that he was alright, that mom was close by. But what happens when she is no longer with us? How will I not only get myself through it but help my brother through when he cannot process change? Every time I spend time with my mom I reassure her that I will help take care of Matt when she is gone. It will be alright, I can do this.
I decided that I will write a book about the journey of life with an autistic sibling. It will be hard. It will be painful. Next year I will dig out the old box of journals written during the darkest years. I will share it with you. I will start the process. Maybe I will even find out why I can’t relax. Why I always have to stay busy. Relaxing makes me nervous. Why does my skin crawl listening to relaxing piano music? Why does quiet meditation fill my soul with terror? Time to face my demons. I can do this.
Why do I torment myself with this? Do you know how easy it would be to delete this blog and walk away like none of this ever happened? But I can’t seem to let it go.