I came home and watched the 1956 Navy war movie, Away All Boats. I needed to vegetate after three straight months of running. As the movie ended, I got a panicked call from my mother. She was hysterical and needed me to come up there. I turned off the computer and got in the car.
I thought it was a drug reaction. We've discovered she can't handle opiates and becomes highly agitated from them. A call from the nursing home revealed it was just severe anxiety. My mom is a tough girl, but the last 6 months have been crazy hard on her and she's at her breaking point, too.
I sat with her and held her hand and she calmed down. By the time I left, two hours later, she was back to normal. As I let her talk, I thought of how my life has gone. I've worked where I have and lived where I have to support wives, children and parents. I sometimes fantasize what life would have been like with no attachments at all. No family, no responsibilities, no commitments. Where would I live and what would I do if all I had to do was support myself?
Given that choice right now, I'd live on the Gulf Coast in Alabama. I've make regular dive trips to the Caribbean. I'd have a barn with three or four old cars in various states of restoration. That's not even vaguely the way I live today.
I wondered why I didn't feel bitterness or regret. I thought that if my mother became completely demented and came to hate me and disowned me, I still wouldn't feel bitterness or regret. How could I? All along, I think I've tried my best to do what God wanted me to do. I've had a few monumental failures and scads of daily, minor ones, but for the most part, I've put family first.
That's what a man is supposed to do. How can you regret that?
|My Alabama home would be on the water and I'd own an old tub like this one. I'd constantly be working on it to keep it afloat and running. It would be great fun.|