Saturdays

oats

Several years ago I took an online course called F2K.
It was free and I thought, ah, what the hell.
I met many wonderful (and not so wonderful) people there, WC being one of the gems.
We had many assignments regarding the craft of fiction.
Some exercises were fun while others would make you wish you never signed up.
I mention this because I found a post I did for F2K when we were working on point of view (POV). I wrote this post from the viewpoint of my father on the day we moved him from his house to the assisted living facility.
It was a brutal day for me emotionally so I really can’t imagine what it must have been like for him.
That day, I know he still had some cookies left.
Maybe that’s what made it so damn heartbreaking.
I remember telling myself, “you’re doing it for him, Michael–you’re doing it for him…”
It still felt wrong to me but I knew there was really no other way.
A word to the wise: this is not a real uplifting post.
*************************************************************

Saturdays

It was Saturday, my favorite day of the week.
Today, however, would be an exception.
A cold and steady rain was falling and it somehow made my heart even sadder.
I was leaving my home of fifty years and I must say it was never my idea. It was all theirs.

My children had decided it was best that I live somewhere I could be safe, away from all dangers and open doors; away from the life I had once upon a time called my own.

They say I’m confused.
Maybe I am.
I forget things but doesn’t everyone now and then?

But I remember Saturday mornings, making good old-fashioned oatmeal on the stove before the kids got up out of bed. God, how I loved to do that!
I can still see the box, with the kindly gentleman on the label who always reminded me of George Washington, peering out at me from inside the darkened cabinet.

I guess those were simpler times uncomplicated by my forgetful and crumbling mind.

I could take care of myself then.
Now, no one thinks I can anymore and it makes me angry.

Today, I was just in the way; like I always am these days.
All I could do was watch as they loaded memory after memory into some big yellow truck that would take me far from this place that I still loved.
I remained quiet through most of this but was angry with myself for not having the strength left to just say
no.

The grandfather clock in the hall just announced the hour.
I never liked the sound of the old man’s chimes but today they sound sweet and lovely as if to soothe the heart that’s breaking deep inside my chest.

Standing in my bedroom, I hear my son’s voice call to me from downstairs, “Dad, it’s time to go.”

As I wrap my trembling hands around the dark mahogany bedpost, for what will be the very last time, a solitary tear trickles down my worn and tired face because I could still remember just how good Saturdays used to be.

~m

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10 thoughts on “Saturdays

  1. I have nothing to say.
    Your story has left me speechless. Now that is writing.

    Not much I can add, Fuzz, except to say ‘thank you’.
    It’s funny that a post such as this just ‘came’ to me. I’ll never figure it out.

    ~m 

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  2. That was very powerful and moving. I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother.

    Anytime my writing can make one think about the people they love in their lives, I feel blessed.
    Thanks for the comment, Deborah.

    ~m 

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  3. Hi, Michael–

    You came to mind tonight–just thinking of you and wondering how all is with your Dad. Sure enough you had written about him. Over Memorial Day weekend, which was before Dad died (7/4/06) my two brothers and I spent the weekend looking into assisted living.
    Dad was getting difficult for Mom to manage; Mom with advanced pulmonary disease, had become so fragile and depressed that she was sleeping most of the time.
    Dad often couldn’t wake her and would think she had died. Life was too complicated for them to continue on their own.
    Anyway, we were looking for a place where they could both safely live–Mom in an apartment, Dad in a memory care unit. We went to all these beautiful facilities (some 11,000 dollars a month for both of them!!!) and pleasant representatives would take us on the tour, trying to cheerfully market their facilities.
    At one point, my brother Chris, who tends to be very quiet and keep his emotions to himself–burst into tears.
    He just began to sob. We hugged for a long time, not caring that our “tour guide” was witnessing our very personal gutwrenching show of emotions.
    It was a day I will long remember.
    We have not had to make a move as of yet–Dad has joined the angels and Mom is well enough to stay in independent living and has actually improved greatly since Dad’s passing. We thought she might just curl up and die too, but she didn’t. She is getting stronger each day, even though we know how much she misses Dad. Anyway, my heart just ached for you as I read your touching story.
    I don’t think anyone can imagine that day, until they come to it. I simply cannot imagine what it is like to lose both of your parents this way.
    I just wanted to know that your writing touched my heart tonight…I will continue to hold you and your dad in my humble prayers. Blessings- Laurie

    Laurie-

    Not much I can add to this except to say thank you once again.
    I’ve sent you a personal reply.
    I love when you stop by for a visit.

    ~m 

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  4. i’m not sure which one touched me the most…the post or the response from laurie…so many times i read these posts michael and find tears in my eyes for not only your pain, but for your father..i would not ordinarily comment on something so personal but simply had to this time…i work in an aged care facility here in oz and whilst it is a clerical position as opposed to a clinical one, i see what families go through with residents in the special unit, so i know where you are at this point…my thoughts are with you and your family

    Anonymum-
    I do thank you for commenting.
    It’s really the only way I know I’ve touched someone.
    Thanks so much for reading. You’re a peach…

    ~m 

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  5. Michael that must have been really hard for you to not only write, but to read again. I agree with mum, not sure which bit hit hardest…..you are one of the strongest people I know…

    Thanks, Kel.
    This was tough to write at the time.
    Distance, however, really does change overall perspective.
    My Dad is currently very well cared for. Thank God.

    ~m 

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