Back in August of 2007, Sarah and I went to see Rufus Wainwright at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. It was a sweltering Texas night, the temp not much lower than the 100+ it had been during the day. Stubbs is an outdoor venue, mostly standing only. We got there early and were close to the stage.
We hadn’t had anything alcoholic to drink that day and we bought a few bottles of water. As more and more people came in and crowded around I began to get the feeling I couldn’t breath. I went back and found a place to sit on some steps near the dressing rooms and a kind employee gave me a bottle of water, as ours were all gone. I got back up but it wasn’t but a few minutes and I felt dizzy again. Sarah said, let’s leave; I fainted on the way out. The night ended with an ambulance ride to the hospital and two liters of fluids. Dehydration was the diagnosis. The humorous part was everyone, from the ambulance EMS tech, to the nurses, to the doctor, all had the same first question. “So, who’s playing at Stubbs tonight?”
Sarah watched over me that night through it all. Before we left home, Rickie had told her in as stern a voice as he could muster, which is pretty stern, “Listen, Sarah, keep an eye on your mom and take care of her. I mean it, now.” I’m sure Sarah thought, heck, mom can take care of herself! When people have always done a lot and are pretty self sufficient, everyone tends to think they don’t need watching out for. But we all do at times.
Rickie always looked out for me, whatever we were doing. I was his first concern and I always felt safe. I knew without a doubt he had my back. My friend Deb and I were talking the other day about how the loss of our husbands meant the only person in the world that we were number one with was gone. To our children, it’s as it should be - their children and spouses, then us. Maybe. Haha! We’re somewhere in there toward the top anyway.
But Rickie gave Sarah a directive that night. And she and my son-in-law Justin (and Bixby!) are one week away from continuing to honor his request. They will be moving here to the cabin then. It’ll be an arrangement beneficial to us all in many ways, and there will naturally be some adjustments for us all. But for me, I’ll have someone watching over me again. Justin has always been my backup while far away, the one I text when I hike alone or get on the ladder, letting him know what trail I’m on, when I return, or get off the 10’ ladder in a precarious situation. Now they will be close enough to holler at! For all this I have a grateful heart.
My mother’s parents lived with us all my life until they passed away. Once time in a duplex, other times in added on quarters, and sometimes in the same house. So multi-generational life is not new to me. I’ve been alone for a number of years now, and a young family needs privacy, so we are all fortunate with this house to have an opportunity for our own space. I’m renovating part of the shop/garage area for space for me. And my two shelter cats! It’s coming along great and I’m excited about it but it won’t be finished for a few more weeks. More on that later.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. I’d sure like to see my mom and my grandmothers but they’re all gone now. My siblings and I always took a lot of time and traveled many a mile to help look after our parents. But I always wish I had done more, had stayed a little bit longer, had listened to one more story they had to tell.
Y’all take care of each other out there, have some fun, and be kind. Try to overlook the annoying things because believe me, they disappear when times really get tough. I know.
“Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” Erich Fromm