Chapter Twenty-Seven – A New Life – In Mom’s Eyes
2009, Present Day – I am 60, Scott is 35, Julie is 32
Talking to Julie these days is keeping me sane. She cracks me up with all of her Pumpkin News. The “Pumpkin Queen of Las Vegas”, she says. Too silly, but really, so uplifting. She’s making something happen in her life, something positive, and I’ve latched on to her calls like a sort of lifeline to happiness. At least one of my children is prospering, making it on her own. Scott isn’t though, so it’s a bittersweet victory. It is hard, day in and day out, living this life with him. I deal with crap and stupidity at work, then come home and feel instantly hopeless. No hope for his life, no hope for mine. All I want to do most days is lose myself in something. Forget or ignore the reality of this situation. But it’s impossible, and it’s eating me up inside. I am guilty of letting my son die, day after day, letting his life slip away. And I just can’t DO anything to change it.
Several months ago, I quit smoking. After 40 years of the disgusting habit, I finally did it. I wanted to be free of it, once and for all. Wanted to prepare myself to live longer, and experience more in life. I want to move, get out of this town. Julie and I have talked a lot about me moving out there to Vegas, starting a different life. She’s quite an inspiration, and I want to be closer to her too. I don’t care if I’m close to the rest of the family, I just want to be near both my children, and be able to start anew, just like Julie did. But I’m fooling myself. I know I can’t go anywhere or do anything unless Scott gets better, or he dies.
I don’t know if I’ll even want to live after Scott dies. I honestly don’t know what my reaction will be, but I’ve been trying to prepare for it. After so many years of false hope, I think I’ve finally given up on the idea of him living a long and prosperous life. I don’t want to give up, I just don’t know what else to do. He talks all the time about moving to Vegas, how excited he is at the prospect of that. At first, it gave me hope. It made me think that maybe he would get serious this time. But it’s been over a year and a half since Julie moved, and nothing has changed. At least, nothing has changed for the better. He’s actually gotten worse, which always happens when Julie moves away. I don’t know why that happens, it just always does. Julie has said she would come back home and take care of Scott again, but we can’t let her do that. This is the first time in all her life that she seems truly happy where she is, and with what she’s doing, and that she’s doing it on her own. We, or I, can’t take that away from her. Can’t ask her to do that. Though some days, I wish I could.
I’m getting old, and I feel it. I want to do something for myself, and have a life while I still have a chance. But every time I start to feel that way, or think that, I think about Scott. He’s nearly half my age, and what kind of life does HE have? I feel selfish, but hopeless. I want him to be better, but I want a life too. I don’t know what to do, just what I want. And some days, I’m not even sure if I know much of that.
But I’m holding on to, and living vicariously through, Julie’s good news and positive attitude. It’s the only thing that keeps me going. It’s the only good thing any of us have. And I’m so proud of her, so sorry for Scott, and so ashamed of myself. All at once.