Sunday, October 23, 2011

Memories - (a rant) and a little more about Granny

If you do not want to read a rant, skip merrily down to the bit in bold below."So forget friends for now."  That will take you to a Granny memory, omitting the rant. 

I remember when friendship was something I took for granted. When the one thing apart from family which you could depend on for sharing, thoughtfulness etc was friendship. Inclusive. When it was a two way street. 

That was in the days when I was a part of a couple. Let me tell you now that things change radically when you are not. And worse still, as friends start retiring, it gets way, way worse. There is no room for singles in a world populated by couples. Singles do other things. Apparently. 

If you had asked me about this 5 years ago, I would never for a second have believed it. I have a friend who lost her husband long before Geoff died, and she told me way back then, that friends changed when you were single. And I, innocent that I was back then, could not for a second imagine that happening to me. 

And do you know what? 

I was wrong. 

Right now, I am in a rage, and I know I should be bigger than this and laugh and put it aside, but I AM IN A RAGE. Just in case you didn't hear the first time. 

If I see a bargain, I tell my friends. If I hear of an event, I share the details with those I think would enjoy it. If I have the opportunity to do something which my friends may enjoy too, I tell them about it. If I make plans, I share the details. If I am going shopping, I let my friends know so they can come along if they choose to. I always have done. And yet, I am noticing that while I am still doing so, not everyone does the same any more.  And being in a rage is far more satisfying than dissolving into tears. 

I need to get a grip. 

But I remember how things used to be, you see, and that saddens me immeasurably. The way I feel right now is enough to make me want to sell the house and move to somewhere far away. Tomorrow. And not look back. 

You may have gathered that right now, memories of how friendships once worked, compared to today this second, are not absolutely euphoric. 

So forget friends for now.

When Granny, Mum and I were in London  on that epic trip in 1976, we went to Trooping the Colour. We made suggestions to Granny that, at 85, with a long walk to Buckingham Palace and the Mall and back, she may rather want to stay in the hotel and watch it all on TV. 

Well, Granny was having none of that. In cream coat and hat and in heels and clutching that bag, she insisted on coming too. Mum and I strategically positioned ourselves next to a First Aid post, in case Granny had an attack of the vapours or collapsed in the heat. The coat was warm and the day was hot. And she did not flinch, people. She walked all the way there and all the way back at speed, after standing for hours to see the procession and the Queen who was still riding sidesaddle on her horse back then. Granny's staying power was formidable. 

Did I tell you that she was still skip of her bowls club at 89? She died when she was 93, and by then, she had senile dementia. In those days, we didn't label people with illnesses. Granny just got old all of a sudden, and confused, and so the family hired nurse aides who were there 24 hours a day to help care for her at home. That was the way things were done. And that was where she died peacefully. 

Ah well. Some memories are happy. Some amusing. Some sad, and some make me think. That is not always a helpful thing. Thinking. Far better to be an ostrich.  Hopefully my mood will be back to normal by morning. My family is rather hoping it will be better right now. 


Needled Mom said...

I have heard the same laments from my single friends. We try so hard to include them but I think they aften feel like the third hand too.

I, too, remember when our homes always seemed to have Grandma or Grandpa living out their final days. It is sad that it isn't the same way now because I do think that the elderly seem to be much sharper mentally when they are being constantly stimulated. I wonder which family I would choose to live with....maybe a month here and a month there!!! ;)

Linda said...

Just to say I am so sorry Linds. It certainly ought not to be so. I'm glad you wrote it all out. Perhaps it will be the beginning of change.
Sending you love.

Vee said...

Hmmm, what to say to all this because I think I do have something to add. I was, after all, a single for 16 years. Worse yet, I was a divorced single so I know whereof you speak. I don't think I handled it as well as I believe you will. I believe you will explain and thereby educate your friends whereas I grew more isolated and locked myself away. That is not you. Do not allow yourself the luxury. It's no good. And, too, I would just add this: Proverbs 27:6. I prefer New Living Translation.

That Granny of yours! She makes me laugh. I think you must have wonderful memories of her and when you share them, you must all be in stitches.

Gillie said...

Sorry, Linds, that stinks and I don't blame you for being so angry. Thought of you yesterday as we showed off William to his great aunt in Wollaston. Off to read Pr. 27.4 did Vee say?

Chris said...

Maybe not rage so much as hurt? I know that's what I'd feel. Left out, because people don't know how to handle half of a couple, instead of thinking of it as one whole person. Even now, this far out, when you would think they'd be used to you being Linds instead of GeoffandLinds.

My heart goes out to you, dear friend. I may not comment all the time, but know I'm here and caring about you!

Hugs of the "I truly mean it" sort!

Dawn said...

How sad. I'm glad you've reminded us of this dilemma. I am sorry it's happening to you. I know you do have good friends, but I am sorry some have disappointed you. BUT - you can move here!!

boysmum2 said...

you can rant as much as you want, that is what we are here for. Love your memory, sometimes grannies from back then were made of stronger stuff than we realised.

Laurie in Ca. said...

Oh Linds, your rage that is protecting the hurt right now really touched my heart. I have blogged this past week about my closest friend who is losing her husband to cancer. I seem to have no more readers on my blog and it makes me sad. I am trying to be here for her in whatever lies ahead. It is uncharted territory for all of us but my heart just breaks for her as it does for you. I made a promise to God and to her that I will not abandon her and to always be here for her. I am so sorry that you are so hurt right now and am praying for you Linds. I would hang out with you if we lived in the same country and state and town. You are teaching me how to be a good friend to my friend and I thank you for sharing your heart here. I am frightfully aware that it could be me any time now so I'd better get some good practice in. Love you Linds and hope your week is lighter and full of close wonderful friends you can count on.

Love and Hugs, Laurie