So, I found out today that my Mom has cancer.
To be rational, it may not be as big a deal as it sounds. It seems to be very localized, it’s breast cancer which has a high cure rate when caught early, and Mom is way post-menopause, so there’s no hormones feeding this thing. It may be no worse than having a suspicious mole removed. So, I’m trying not to get too concerned yet.
Nonetheless, it does bring up a lot of thoughts. Naturally I would miss my Mom if she died; of course, my parents aren’t getting any younger, and everyone dies some day. But there’s so much more that would go with her passing—the entire family has this subtle dependency on her which just isn’t good. I’m not particularly dependent on her, not compared to others, but she does do things for me (paying for certain home repairs, etc.) that I probably wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. I’m not sure how my Dad would fare on his own. I have a disabled aunt, my mother’s sister, whose finances and legal issues would become my problem if my Mom passed away. I don’t even like dealing with my own financial issues. I happen to live in the same state as my parents, which creates this sense of obligation. I’m feeling the jaws of limitation, and I’ve never liked that—it’s why I’m not married and don’t have kids. No one would require me to do anything for my family here, but basically I would be a sh*t if I didn’t. That’s not a life change I want to contemplate.
There are also some out-of-state family that would be severely affected if something happened to her. As a rule, I do not get tangled up in the problems of thinking adults—it doesn’t help the person, not when they’re long-standing problems (as opposed to emergencies). Unfortunately, my Mom likes to get tangled up in her children’s issues. And if something were to happen to her, it would create some ugly situations. My sister and I do not want to be the ones to untangle these messes. But it would probably fall to us, being the most independent of the bunch.
Now, all of this is a bit hasty. The likelihood is that none of this will come to pass any time in the near future. But it reminds me that it’s possible. Time marches on.
I think I need to get out my copy of “Dark Side of the Moon.”