I have spent the past few says feeling haunted. The ghosts of my past and present, the good ones, the bad ones and the ugly ones. I spent Friday night with one of my younger nieces. She is in her early twenties. She had a hard life, she is the product of two parents who never should have been together or married. They were abusive to each other, alcohol, and I assume drugs. They ultimately divorced and neither of them seemed to realize that parenting their two young girls should be their priority, these girls have ultimately been on their own since their early teens. The older daughter ended up pregnant at 15, a beautiful bright young thing, who now has two children from two different fathers, living with an abusive, jealous, cheater. She does not have the means at this time to get herself out of this relationship. It just brought back to me the days of my youth, where alcohol was such an omnipresent force in my life, and the lives of all those related to me.
Saturday evening I took La Petit and his friend to TGIFs for dinner. While we waited for a table I found myself surrounded by young families. Young, smiling couples with toddlers. It made me yearn for a time in my life when my children were small and I was still filled with hope for a fulfilled life. No concept of what future awaited me. A life filled of sickness, drug and alcohol abuse all around me, unhappiness, dysfunction and adultery.
We had the puppy for the weekend and after dinner, AH and I sat out on the deck while the puppy ran around playing. Our conversation basically consisted of our, or more specifically my trepidation of how the Prince is going to respond to his new freedom since his "release" from his program. He is officially free, and all things considered, the weekend seemed to go OK, so far he seems to have remained clean and sober. He is steering clear of his old friends so far. He is seeing a new girl that I have not met yet. I am not thrilled with the way he is choosing to spend his time. He is back to "hanging out", with no particular destination. My humble opinion is that he should not be sitting around in parks all night with his friends, making out or whatever. I think this is setting him up for a relapse. But I am trying hard to keep this opinion to myself.
My mother called me yesterday and basically expressed her fear that my Dad seemed to be dying and that perhaps I should come for dinner to see him, and he was requesting my brother be there also. My father is a very sick man, and yes, statistically, he is not long for this world, but he had chemo last week and he is always very week and very ill after a treatment for a few days. Of course, in the event that I was wrong, I obliged the request. It is very sad to see my Dad. He has really withered away to nothing, and he is not so with it. He barely contributes to the conversations, and he loses his patience quickly.
AH and the Prince were both working, so it was just La Petit and I. My brother arrived shortly after us and he also came alone. It was strangely reminiscent of my younger years. It was bittersweet to sit outside just the four of us, a shadow of a family past. There is no running from time and this vibrant young family of years ago, has seen the painful effects of what the years can do to you. My father, sickness has left him but a fragment of the father of my youth, a powerful, strong man, the family patriarch, his voice alive with laughter. My brother, his long curly locks now very thin and mostly gray, diabetes has taken 3 of his toes and will ultimately probably take his leg, years of drug and alcohol abuse have dimmed the brightness of his eyes, and leathered his skin. My mother, just an older, tireder version of who she used to be. Self medicating the pain of watching the man she loves slowly deteriorate and die over the last 16 years, as she slowly drinks herself to death. And myself, sad to recall the easier, lighter days of my youth. Disappointed in what became of the grown up me and the loneliness I feel, and how much I miss that vibrant young family.