Menu Close

Diarist F56 Day 21

December 31, 2022 

When I awoke, I had been dreaming of an orange catastrophe–that is, in my own yard, I had suddenly grown an orange tree or two which had produced more oranges than I could deal with. I had oranges falling off trees and rolling into the road, passersby wanting oranges, oranges in my front and back yards that peeked out of the grass like Easter eggs. The point of this is that I felt completely overwhelmed by the oranges. All of that rolling, carrying, finding more, giving away, feeling out of control–I think are all symbolic of what I’m feeling during the days. 

I had my coffee and prayer time in my office. I’m still reading “Jesus Calling,” and listening to “Abide.” I pray for many people on my list and recorded 20 very specific, detailed answers to prayer for 2022. Of course not every prayer was answered in the way I would like. Sometimes the answer is a frustrating but compassionate “No,” and sometimes, the message is, “Not yet.” But when you’ve told someone you would pray, and you do, and the prayer is answered, I think you should open your mouth and give thanks. So I’m doing that here, and I’ve done it on social media, keeping all details private. 

I spent time scrolling through social media, looking at everyone’s new year’s memes. 

I was sad during the morning as I went about my activities but just kept repressing the feeling because I had places to go and things to do. 

We met a couple for breakfast at the Riverside Cafe. They happen to be our daughter’s in-laws, the other set of grandparents of our grandchildren. We were friends with this couple when our respective children were young, having no idea they would grow up to marry each other and thus connect their parents with grandchildren. That was enjoyable. 

Next, we went to Planet Fitness to cancel my membership. Who cancels a gym membership on New Year’s Eve? That is funny to me. Most people are gearing up to get in shape. But I’ve found that I workout better alone, when I can simply walk away from teaching my online classes and get right on the treadmill or pick up weights. The thought of driving to the gym became more and more unattractive to me. And I’m pretty consistent with running and lifting. 

About online teaching–it’s going really well. I have regular students and enjoy our conversations and learning about their cultures. My company tells me that in 2022 I taught 350 English lessons to students from 32 countries, the most frequent students being from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and China.

After Planet Fitness, we went to TJ Maxx, my favorite store, for a few essentials such as T-shirts and kitchen items. I didn’t find my usual irresistible item that I don’t need this time, which is a rarity. 

At home in the afternoon, I roasted a turkey. After the holidays, we had fewer leftovers than usual, so I had bought a turkey the week before and decided to make it and some stuffing for the new year. This is a questionable decision because my husband is a vegetarian. So I planned to consume a whole turkey by myself in the following week! I figured it was a good source of protein and healthier than lunch meat. By the way, the good eggs (Eggland’s Best) are now $8.00 per dozen, so I’m looking for other ways to add protein to my diet. 

While the turkey roasted, I dismantled the big Christmas tree and put away most decorations. That took a few hours.

As evening arrived and darkness fell, I was not able to suppress my sadness over losing my mom in June anymore. I went to my office, closed the?door and cried. I held her picture to my chest and cried, which I have never done. I tried to pray, but the only word I could say repeatedly was, “SAD.” I could not form sentences. I miss her, and I miss my dad, but he’s been gone since 2013, so the grief for him is not as fresh. As soon as he passed, I became Mom’s person to rely on and ultimately her caregiver. I became the mom of my mom, and I often have regrets and guilt and a whole stew of emotions that are not fun to face and work through. I am going to a Griefshare workshop on Monday evenings, but nothing can take away grief; you must sit with it before it wanes. I do not cry every day. I would say once or twice a week I tear up but go on. I write to her in my journals. I write about her in my journals. Mainly, I don’t want her to be forgotten in a generation or two.

I refuse to really say goodbye to her in 2023, although the fact of moving on was hitting me hard as the clock ticked down. I have come to the realization that just as I carry her DNA with me, I also carry her influence with me. Everything I am that’s good, I owe to my mom. What was Lincoln’s quote? I think it is, “All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” This is true for me, too.

I’m ready for 2023.