You ever notice that the choices we make not only affect you but those around you as well? Take my decisions to leave the majority of my family to move to another state for the sake of my health. And yet I personally have known others who have said, “I’m not going to leave my family. Even if the doctor says it’s in my best interest, I won’t give up my children, my grand-children . . .” or what have you. That’s their choice.
Some live long lives and are successful with their health choices. Others continue to hack out their lungs while babysitting grandchildren while their children are at work and end up dying anyway.
Sometimes it becomes a larger burden for the child (or children) to bury the parent than it would have been if the parent had just moved out of state. Sometimes it’s easier, realizing the sacrifices that were made by said parent. Often there are questions with either decision. Some questions go unanswered or are misunderstood.
My decision to move has affected Jenna’s education, as she will not be able to continue with in the dual immersion program – not at this time. I don’t want her to lose what she has been taught and continue with her Spanish. But foreign language is not even offered until she’s in high school. I hope to be living in a different part of the state by then.
Our decision to leave Utah so abruptly caused stress for both Tony and Rochelle – who were also facing challenges of imperfect health. Our unorganized chaotic house only added to the stress – I’m sure.
Mom had a good friend mentioned here and here who had secluded herself from everyone she knew – including her own family. They all knew that she was sick. They just didn’t know how sick. She chose not to tell them because she did not want them to worry. Though I do understand her choices, I think her decisions made it a lot more difficult on her family members – who knew how opposed Pam was to funerals and thus the family chose not to have one for her. For me, it seemed symbolic to the end of her life: It felt very empty as if there was no closure.
I have learned throughout my life that funerals are for the living – not the deceased. I would actually be a lot more gracious with being honored once I’m deceased as it isn’t something I’m too comfortable with while I am living. I’m not big on hoopla. I didn’t even want a wedding reception. But there were a huge number of people that hoped that I would. And so I had one – for them. It did not take place until after Roland and I had been married for over a month.
Are the choices we make good or bad? Do we regret our decisions? I don’t regret moving to Oregon. I know that I am breathing better. My oldest son says I definitely look happier. I am for the most part. I smile a lot more when I go to church. I laugh at situations that I can’t control. I don’t worry.
I took Jenna to the pool today and while I sat outside waiting for her, I cried for the first time since we've been in Oregon. I was crying about being so far from my family members. Jeanie’s having a baby shower this week. Jenna wishes we could go. I did give shower gifts to my two pregnant girls before I left – but it’s not the same.
I won’t hear my grand-daughter tell me she wants to go jump on the trampoline or see BJ’s smile light up when he sees me. It makes my whole day. I miss playing games with Kayla and Bill or the boys. I miss their asking, “Where’s dad?” “Where’s Jenna?”
Two of my boys actually fought over taking Jenna trick-or-treating last year. Tony was promised that he would get her this year. There’s a promise broken. I’m not sending Jenna back to Utah just to go trick-or-treating. I think she is getting too old for trick-or-treating anyway. Although it is easier to get away with when going door-to-door with your three-year-old niece or your five-year-old cousin.
Corey (who actually posted this same subject and similar title to his blog here which I didn't realize until just before I posted) kept himself closeted for years knowing his decision to come out would not only affect him – but each of his family members. I think he was scared on how we’d react. He had already had a taste of what he thought was a bad reaction from me – and it was.
I had behaved poorly – but not because he said he was gay – but because I had figured out that I had stopped caring about him somewhere along the way and it didn’t matter to me whether he was gay or not because I just didn’t care about him anymore. (see post here) And that’s what is most upsetting – that I had stopped caring.
I am so so grateful that we’ve mended the fences that were built between us and that we are supportive of one another and that he is truly happy. I love him with all my heart. I love each of my family members. It does hurt that I am so far away.
But I can breathe.
Perhaps it’s selfish of me to prioritize my health over being with them. Perhaps it seems selfish that I would rather communicate electronically rather than have my children or grandchildren remember me as hacking all the time and eventually gasping for air until I die.
I don’t particularly want to die alone – but like Pam, I don’t want my children to worry about a funeral as the expense of them coming to Oregon or shipping my body back to Utah seems quite unnecessary. Bury me quietly and remember me as having more years because I could breathe. Because really, what good (or fun) am I if I’m constantly gasping for air. I don’t want my death to be a relief to them. I’m sure they wouldn’t (or don’t) miss the sounds.
I’m grateful that I didn’t have to move here by myself but that I do have Roland and Jenna with me. And as a member of the Church I automatically have a support group in the current ward (church) that I attend. I hope my decisions will bless those here as well as those that are still in Utah (and Nevada)
Whether I had stayed in Utah or come to Oregon, my choices would have affected my family either way.