The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

My Last Words – Honesty And Truths

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Finally, December 31st has arrived. I’ll make an attempt tonight to stay up, despite the fact that my sleep last night was just plain crappy and bad. I’ll be dog tired by the time I hit my pillow in 2017, but I feel I should keep Nat company this year. Maybe our New Year’s kiss will usher in better, healthier and happier year.

Our Christmas was nice. To Laura’s home at 4:30 Christmas Eve for a bite to eat and give our grandchildren their money. Then on to sister, Gail’s, where the rest of my family was already in the throws of having all kinds of goodies laid out on the dining room table. That feeling came upon me again, but I put it in the back of my mind and tried to carry on as best I could.  Once we arrived home we watched a little TV before I had to retire for the night. My craving for sleep begins earlier and earlier these days.

Christmas morning was a little busier than other years. We drove off to Susan’s home right after my pill regime and were able to join her family for bacon-on-a-bun and then watch as our granddaughters and Mom and Dad opened their presents. I really enjoyed seeing some frivolity Christmas morning. We both enjoyed watching Felicia and Bridget act surprised as they opened some of the gifts they knew they were getting. Mom was given a strict list of clothes picked out the months prior, but there were still one or two little surprises under the tree. I was also glad to see our two granddaughters do right by their Mom and gave her  a couple of well-deserved presents she would never have bought for herself. Koodos, Ladies!!!!

Nat and I opened a few gifts from my side of the family when we arrived home. A lot of chocolates and some biscuits, which Nat always enjoys, along with a gift card for dining out by Thamazine. Her thanks to me for wrapping her gifts. Much appreciated, but I’d do it for free anytime of year – just to put me in the spirit. Otherwise, Christmas means nothing to me anymore.

We mashed the potatoes, packed them up and carted them off to Claudia’s for Chistmas dinner. The meal was delicious, as always, but that feeling came back to me again. I tried to put it behind me one more time, but now and again I felt as if I was having an out-of-body experience – looking inside Claudia’s home and watching the frivollity being enjoyed by everyone. The chit-chat amongst sisters, the catching up on who was doing what, etc.

Arriving home, again, I was in bed early and that’s when it hit me. I felt disconnected from my sisters. Somehow along the way I had nothing to talk to them about, nothing in common with any of them, nothing to contribute to any of the conversations. I was a stranger in a sister’s home and didn’t know how to get out of it.

I put my thoughts aside, and soon began to plan Nat’s birthday. I booked a table at (a restaurant recommended to me by my great hairdresserCanyon Creek in the Fallsview Casino for the 1st, then began my To Do list for his birthday get-together on the 2nd. I had invited Susan’s family, Laura’s family and boyfriends over for our usual brunch. I try to make it as easy as possible – cold cuts, kaisers, pasta salad and cookies and squares for dessert. Everyone always has plans for the rest of the day so no one stays very long, but at least Nat gets to see his family for a few minutes that day.

My depressian came back again last night despite the fact I was fine once my head hit the pillow. Suddenly I soon began to feel that “disconnect” again. I told myself it was jealousy. My whole family had places to go, things to do and people to see, and I was the ghost in the room.

I’m unable to talk about family events, as I’m never a participant during most of the year. Only at special occasions – Thanksgiving and Christmas. I even feel at times any presents received at Christmas are more out of pity when, in fact, we’re not suppose to exchange at all. I will never get use to an empty tree Christmas morning. I tried to talk to Nat about it and he can’t understand why I won’t let it go. Even the disappointments I’ve felt from family members during my health issues (over 16 years ago, for God’s sake!!), all of which I had no control over. As it was, everything worked out for the better, but I felt in my heart the support wasn’t there for me to lean on.

The time I called two of my sisters after a huge, mega argument with Nat about Laura that went on for almost two weeks. One was too busy, which, in turn, made me feel guilty for even calling. What was that about? I was the one about to leave my husband or walk down to Lake Erie. The other sister wasn’t at home and only called hours later when she wasn’t needed.

My brain is storing some pretty petty stuff. I’ll be the first to admit it. Anyone with even a whisper of depression or feelings of neglect will tell you these feelings are so deep-seeded your brain doesn’t know where to find them to delete them from your memory. For most of my life I was spoiled because of my illness, and as a result I’m always looking for some sort of attention or support. That person in me will bake for others, give away stuff to family just to hear “Thanks!” and receive a little attention, even if for a fleeting second. The need to please is all around me. The adult in me knows I have to live my own life to the best of my ability and talents. I have a husband that loves me, but let’s admit it – every woman needs another woman now again just to talk to. Somehow I’ve lost that along the way.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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