Friday, August 8, 2008

'The Man' Tales - A little of Cid's History

When the sun rose the next morning I woke Cid for his nebulizer treatment. With the rosy hues of the rising sun against the morning mist shining on his face, it struck me how angelic he looked. I tried to turn my mind from that thought as much as I could, but it kept wandering back to it again and again. I smiled at him wearily and he smiled back as best as he could with the mask up against his mouth and nose.

As soon as Cid appeared out of the bedroom, his mother started up a constant stream of shrill chatter in Italian. Just before he entered the bathroom, he turned his head and looked at me – and rolled his eyes. I could barely hear him clanking around the oxygen tank in there as his mother stood right outside the door and didn’t let up. I could tell by the sound of the spoken words that it wasn’t that pleasant either. I closed the bedroom door and lay out on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

She kept up that chatter throughout breakfast and on into the morning. At one point Cid motioned me into the bedroom and we sat in there on the bed as I gave him another treatment. Afterwards he whispered to me that his mother was angry about all the noise that went on during the night. I couldn’t understand what she was referring to until I realized that I had to use the bathroom throughout the night to wash the mask and rinse out other pieces of equipment. I was just doing the nursing duties that were required – but it was waking her up. I thought that she should try being in my shoes. I hadn’t had more than a few minutes sleep here and there for at least three days and I could feel my chest hurting with the fatigue. Cid wrapped his arms around me and asked me to try to ignore her.

We had talked over the years many times about his parents. His father had died of a heart attack just before I met Cid and he had felt responsible for his mother’s happiness since then. What had been strange about it all was that his father had received a phone call in the early hours of the morning, and a voice had told him the person was calling from the airport and he was here to kill him. No one ever found out who made the call, but they think his father had the heart attack because of the stress of it all. He had been a bricklayer all his life and had brought his small family from Trieste, Italy to settle in the tiny town of Taber, Alberta. They had been a self-contained unit, the three of them – staying to themselves even when they moved to the large city of Lethbridge.

When Cid was applying for postsecondary education, he applied to a journalism school and law school. He didn’t care which one he got in to, he just made sure that both of them were far enough away from his parents that it wouldn’t be easy for them to make a daily visit. He had his fingers crossed for journalism school, but it was the law school he heard from first. He packed his bags and fled.

From what he told me, those years away from his parents had been the best of his life. When he graduated, he also decided to work a long distance from them as well and chose Edmonton – a seven-hour drive. Of course he had always been a good son, and they never knew that all he wanted to do was have his own life without them hanging over his head and telling him what to do every second of the day. And his father’s death had changed that. Cid went back to the daily phone calls and long-weekend visits. He spent every visit to his mother fixing the problems in the house or looking after hers. He did it all with that wonderful smile on his face and she never knew.

When he rolled his eyes at me before shutting the bathroom door – I thought of all of this.

19 comments:

softinthehead said...

Cid is a wonderful person and you were so lucky to find each other. However as parents hopefully we can be selfless enough to let our children have a life of their own! You are both saints in my book.

Daryl said...

Parents. Sometimes they dont let go ... and others are never there ... surely there's a happy medium ... but I dont know what it is.

:-Daryl

Leatherdykeuk said...

Oh dear! Such a harridan of a woman.

You had the strength and patience of a saint.

willow said...

Hi...funny that you have your fear of snakes listed in your profile! Yes, sometimes little ones like to sleep in the old mailbox by the front door. Love your snowy profile pic...I adore the cold and snow.

Thanks for stopping by Willow Manor today! Come back again soon.

BT said...

What a woman she is! I think you managed amazingly well, I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to hold back in the face of such selfishness. I'm sure you were thinking of Cid though, as always. What a wonderful couple and how very sad that he was torn from you.

Irene said...

Cid's too kind for his own good and look what his mother gets away with. It doesn't sound like she is doing him much good at this point in his life, I don't see much compassion. I have no patience with people like this and would send her on her way and the uncle too. It is clear that there is no space there for all of you, physically and emotionally. It's a shame that Cid is in no position to put his foot down on this.

Retiredandcrazy said...

My parents set me up for caring for them when they got old. I thought it my duty and although they were wonderful parents I would never put my children in that position. But...I have such a lot to be grateful for. You and Cid are in my thoughts. Keep the faith.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Something like this allows time to think. It often stirs bad thought and we have to try harder to remember the good.

CJ xx

dawn said...

Sons have a way of doing what needs to be done. It sounds like he was a good son, despite the hovering of his mother.

Maria said...

How horrible. I just came here from another blog and found your story terrible.
Not like most Italian Mamas I know. Did you find out why she despised and disliked you so much and why she didn't want to take care of her son herself?
She sounds unnatural.
How come the poor man didn't get any medical support at home? I never went to America so I dont know the system over there. This is all so shocking to me. was it a long time ago?

merry weather said...

I have been catching up and am so relieved Cid is still alive!

What sort of a mother was she?!

TSannie said...

Another wonderful gathering of words. You're going to make me cry, aren't you?

TSannie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TSannie said...

Sorry - I hit the Publish your comment twice.

Melanie said...

Hia Aims, my toes are itching to give that witch a jolly good shin kicking for adding to Cid's stress at this time. She can't really care if she is behaving like that. I'm thinking Narsassistic Personality Disorder- she's thinking how dare Cid not see to her needs like he always has and is throwing a tantrum about it.

Tell me please that someone stood up to her and told her to behave herself or leave for Cid's sake.

Biddie said...

I wish that I could have met Cid. He was a treasure...
Don't get me started on mothers..

bichonpawz said...

ah yes,Aims, I do know the Italian mother syndrome you are speaking of in this post. How sad that she continued to bother Sid with all that crap when he had more important things going on!

Maggie May said...

I am back on line & intend to catch up with your blog tonight!

Lehners in France said...

It's good to get away from parents when you can, they are not always what you want to be yourself. Debs x