My head is in the sand

“Old age is no place for sissies” – Betty Davis

I just ended a conversation with my sister who lives on the other side of the world and during our conversation she had moments of weakness when talking about our parents. My sister is the emotional person in the family, she is the one who would cry at funerals, weddings or farewells. Whereas, I am the one who will be feeling sad but somehow do a better job about keeping it under control.

It is not because I don’t feel sad, but I just seem to have a harder time in expressing my emotions. I want to pretend that I am tough, strong and in control most often and this makes me feel guilty. Guilty because while I am trying to show that I am strong and tough, to someone looking in, it might show that I am cold and aloof and don’t care. I do care, but trying to show it has always been hard for me. I am not the one who cries at funerals or in public. Of course I do cry, but most often my crying takes place in private, which often results in people telling me that I am strong. I tell them I am not strong, but I suppose it is hard to believe that when all they see is the strong outer personality.

As my parents get older or maybe I should say they are old,  aches, pains, ailments have set in. My sis said to me during the conversation that she felt sad to see my dad, once a strong, proud man who was so independent looking aged and mellow and not as independent as he once was.

It upsets me and makes me sad to think that time is coming to an end for them soon. Maybe I am being melodramatic about things, but getting rid of my tough façade is no easy task either. Since I live on the other side of the world from my parents, I don’t see them as often as I would like to, which is probably why I bury my head in the sand when it comes to them.

It is now more than a year since I last saw them and I have wanted to go see them and somehow find reasons and excuses not to go. I realized that this is my way of maybe holding on to time and living in my little bubble of saying they are ok. I do call them almost everyday, I hear their voices and they constantly reassure me that they are ok and as much as I know it is not the case, I tell myself they are ok and go back into my little bubble, refusing to face reality.

Not seeing them makes it easier in my head or so I say. As much as I would like to continue to live in the bubble and not face reality, it is coming and there is no wishing it away.

In less than 2 weeks I am going to see them, spend time with them and face reality of what will be. But maybe till then I will go back to my cocoon and stay there and tell myself, they are ok.

I am terrified of how I will feel when I see them and wish I could just stay with my head buried in the sand, but reality has knocked and I think it is time to show my sister that she is not alone in the sadness she feels and that I am there with her and feel the same and share the emotional burden of seeing them age. It is time to get my head out, shake the sand off and go face what is ahead.

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About my random musings

I am originally from South East Asia and I moved to the US about 15 years ago to follow my heart. My heart has since been broken a few times, but I continue to be on journey of trying to mend it. I could talk about running, baking or writing in a small crowd, but put me in a room full of strangers and I will be the one standing in a corner people watching. When I am not writing or running, I would be in my kitchen, flour strewn all over the kitchen counters, music playing in the background and me just rolling and folding dough, excited about what my creation will turn out to be. Besides that I love passionately, when I love, I give it my all, not always a good thing, but that is who I am. I jump both feet in and sometimes I come out with regrets but having learnt a lesson. I believe everything happens for a reason and this is my place to share bits and pieces of my life, my adventures and sometimes misadventures. Hope you enjoy reading my stories as much I enjoy sharing them with you.
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8 Responses to My head is in the sand

  1. Entertain the possibility that even though they are older and more mellow, they may also be happier in ways that you can’t yet fathom. It is true that old age brings pain to the body; but it also brings gentleness to the soul. The last time I saw my Grandfather he was 85 and complaining about the pain in his body…I suppose it was especially bad that day. I asked him if he had ever considered suicide and he said, “Look up a the stars and realize how small you are and be grateful for the eyes that can see them.”

    He was in pain but also more aware of his connection to the universe than at any other time in his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am trying to fathom a lot of things at this point and none of it was are they happier…. You have given me something to ponder on. Even if they are happy and mellow I struggle with the fact that they are older and have health issues and it is all beyond my control. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that the last part of what you say nails it. I have an illness and what frustrates my partner the most is the fact that there is nothing he can do to control it…I think that coming to terms with the mortality of our parents is also a coming to terms with our own mortality and the sense that we somehow have control over forces that we barely understand. It is a profound and sometimes painful transition in the way we experience ourselves and the world. In this regard seeing your parents may be a comfort. My thoughts are with you–and I look forward to reading how the visit went.

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      • Thank you Rob. I have to say you have a very realistic approach to life. Despite knowing the reality of it, trying to accept it is still hard, so I understand how your partner feels. I am hoping that seeing my parents will be dose of reality I need. It is just hard to think of life after them. I suppose their presence is so huge in our lives that it is hard to think of it without them. But I will definitely will be writing on here, since this is my only chance to express my feelings openly, since no one in my family reads. This is my not so private diary. Thank you again for your words of wisdom.

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  2. warmsio2 says:

    This is a very thought provoking post, very honest and enjoyable at the same time. I do not speak to my family, which is sad because at one time I thought we were close. I have tried to mend bridges but they need to try as well. Maybe I will revisit the subject and see if they have changed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear about your family. Hope enough time has passed that the bridges can be mended. I’ve had my moments with mine too where we don’t speak to each other, but typically we kiss and make up. Now that my parents are older it scares me to think what it would be like without them. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

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  3. dsmcknight says:

    You’ve written a very honest, open post. I think that we each do what we must – that we each have a place to fill in the family structure. Perhaps yours is to be strong, which in turn, allows your sister the freedom to be emotional. That isn’t a bad thing. Strength (or perceived strength) can be very comforting to others. In my family, we tend to be quiet in our grief – after all, that’s what showers are for – to cry unseen and let the waters help wash away the pain.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your words. This trip is going to be emotional and mostly one to show my sis that I may live thousands of miles away but I’m there for her and offer her the support she needs. I’m feeling so many emotions right now but mostly fear of how I will handle seeing that my parents have got more feeble in the last year. Thank you again for your supportive words.

      Like

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