Thursday, September 25, 2008

'The Man Tales' - Time to Go

Hearing those words from Cid’s uncle turned my heart into stone. Cid had asked me to ‘be there’ for his mother once he was gone. He was afraid she was going to be lonely and he hoped we could spend time together in the future.

But hearing those words and looking at their faces made me shrug and walk away. I packed my bags and left and never looked back and never went back to visit with his mother. All I had done for all of that time was look after a man I loved and try to do the things he had wanted. Relaying his wishes had gotten me this and I had had enough.

I drove up to Cid’s condo the following day and began the long job of packing up his life. For everyone who has ever done this after a loved one’s death – you know how hard this is. Every single item is held and you try to get a feeling of the person you loved through an inanimate object. You smell and you feel and you press it to your face – and you cry. And you cry. And you cry.

My discovery that his mother had helped herself to the best of what Cid had only helped to drive home my feelings of disgust with his family. I had thought that I would help clean the condo as I packed so it would help with selling it. When I found that they had taken the vacuum cleaner – well those thoughts of helping flew out of the window – and not on pleasant wings.

I worked steadily for three days with the knowledge that my brother and cousin were coming with D and a rented truck on the weekend. Cid’s life was going to be packed into it and moved 200kms where it would become part of my life – again. Despair and loneliness and just plain missing Cid, mixed with my anger as I sorted and packed his meager belongings. I laughed when I found the storeroom that held treasures his mother would have loved to get her hands on. It was obvious they hadn’t known about it. I am not mean-hearted, but I had been pushed too far. Even with my mental condition I knew it and I responded as I pitched stuff into the garbage bin.

I could have taken what I wanted and left his mother and uncle to clean up the mess, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it to Cid. And to me that is what mattered. I felt I had to do what was right. What other people did was their choice. Not mine.

I thought of these things as I climbed up onto the kitchen counter and reached for the articles Cid had placed on top of the cupboards. And I thought of nothing much as I lost my balance and fell backwards onto the kitchen floor, landing on my left shoulder. However – over the next five years of physiotherapy and pain I have replayed those thoughts many times. That fall damaged muscles and tissue in my shoulder. I will never be able to sleep on my left side again, so pain is always mixed with my lasting love of that wonderful man.

I was useless when it came time to load the truck. I couldn’t use my left arm at the time as I held it against my chest and passed things using my right hand. All that was left at the end was Cid’s old beaten up couch that we didn’t know what to do with.

As I was taking one last look around, a real estate agent let a young woman into the condo. The three of us stood looking at one another – shock and embarrassment plastered on all of our faces. The agent mumbled something about wanting to get the condo shown as quickly as possible. It only took me a second to realize that his mother and uncle had struck again, and struck early. I shrugged my shoulders and walked out without another look back. I climbed into my car and followed the truck out of the city. D sat beside me and held my hand while I cried.

25 comments:

Stinking Billy said...

aims, baby, injury on top of insult, eh? But it doesn't matter which comes first, they are a pair, just like the mother and the uncle. Who would want any kind of continuing relationship with them, anyway. Bastards!

softinthehead said...

What amazes me is hat Cid could be the product of such a family.

Anonymous said...

So sad. I agree with sofinthehead about Cid being a product so different than his family. And I'm sure, part of it had to do with your influence. Margie

Melanie said...

The only tune in a narsassist's head is "me me me". Cid was shaped by seeing to other's needs which is part of what made him a sweet man through and through. It sounds like mother and facilitator uncle carried on playing their old parts trying to do what was good for them and not thinking of anyone else.

What if you had been curled up in the house grieving and the agent walked in! I think you were wise to just pack what you could and leave. You can sort things out more objectively when the initial grief has subsided. So close to his death, you couldn't be expected to know what you really needed to keep of his.

It didn't sound like his mother even wanted you to be around and talking about Cid. I wouldn't've had any regrets about not seeing them again. You did girl throughout this. You tried to honour his wishes, you tried to honour his life. Did they?

Beckie said...

I can feel your pain- both physical and emotional - through your words.

At this stage in the story I have to say that D is nearly a saint. He has stuck by you through all of Cid's illness and he must have been able to see the love that you had for Cid. D must be a very self assured, grounded man that is confident with his own sense of self. A keeper - one might say.

Daryl said...

Sad but in the end you know he knew how they treated you and how you tried to fulfill his wishes. He knew. He knows.

:-Daryl

Mima said...

It is just so difficult to believe that people could be so insensitive, and not to honour Cid's wishes is just something else, I would be devastated if I thought that my wishes would not be honoured at my death. So sorry to hear about your shoulder, what a horrid thing to have to carry with you just to top off what had been an awful experience. I know that you must take time to remember the good times with Cid as well!!

Akelamalu said...

I can so empathise with the packing up part. :(

rosiero said...

Oh aims. no wonder this upsets you so much. What a wonderful-looking man, though. Comfort yourself with the fact that you were blessed to know him. And that he chose YOU over him mother.

BT said...

How dreadful for you, yet again, aims, to have to withstand the slings and arrows from that awful pair. It does make you wonder how she produced such a fine son.
xxx

Irene said...

Words fail me, Aims. I don't know what to say about all of this. I sounds like a very bad daytime soap. They must have seen you as a real threatening person in their lives. An entity they had not counted on and did not know how to deal with. You must have been formidable. The big solid rock that stood in the way of their plans and they didn't know what you were all about. Had Cid ever given them any clarity about you?

bermudabluez said...

It doesn't surprise me that Cid didn't want to spend much time with them. Oh aims, my heart breaks for you and the way that they treated you. It's just awful.

travelling, but not in love said...

Lord, it doesn't stop does it Aims? That mother seems to be devoid of feeling.

Having to go through someone else's possessions is always awful. I've had to do it a couple of times and each time it makes me look at my own stuff - and usually leads to me having a good clearout myself.

Both things, however miserable, can be throughly cathartic though.

Mya said...

Oh Aims, you poor darling. Cid looks like such a nice bloke - a really, open, warm smile.
A very sad tale.

Mya x

CrazyCath said...

So sad. So cold. So unnecessary.

dawn said...

I have caught up with the story. A nice series of photos you posted. He looks as wonderful as you describe him. Glad you were finally rid of his family.

Maggie May said...

Yes....... I've been there, had to sort out other people's precious things. The holding and the smelling, all bring back my own painful memories.
You have to do what is best for you and not what you think a dying person would like you to do. Sounds like you could never have got on with his mother.Or rather, she could never have accepted you.
you walked away...... what else COULD you have done.
Moving story.

TSannie said...

Thank God Cid had/has you.
Such a beautiful and moving story (not the right word but I can't think of the right one) you're sharing with us, Aims. I thank you for that.

Mean Mom said...

What mean, unkind and uncaring people they were.

Lovely to see your photos of Cid.

lisaschaos said...

Dang, girl, this was such a tough time for you and it must hurt to dig it all up again. :(

The W.O.W. factor said...

I'm sorry, I stumbled here and now I feel like I'm intruding on your very soul! I am so sorry for your loss, this time of yours I just read these posts about Cid and my heart aches, and tears flow for you.
Refurbishing the old barn...what a wonderful thing you get to do! (I read your profile...)
Have a wonderful week and again, I'm so sorry...

Millennium Housewife said...

Once again you have made the unselfish choice and chosen what Cid would have wanted rather than stooping to punish his family, it takes a strong and special person to do this aims, I hope you feel that in you. MH

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

More pain to go with your heartache. Dear aims, I'm only glad that you had someone to turn to at that time. M xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Yes, your time to pack away Cid's life had definitely arrived.

CJ xx

John-Michael said...

That you have risen above the brutality of harsh circumstance ... to be the beauty of who you are today ... thrills my Soul.

I love you.