My most recent piece at 50 something Moms elicited a comment about my morbid life view. Precisely that I reference the dead too much. And that it is creepy. Because, I guess, what is normal is to excise dead people from one’s referential library of memories. Thank goodness I’m not my mother. Fifty-two years is a lot of slate to wipe clean. Still I find it hard not to refer to the measly seven I had with Will. Perhaps if we hadn’t procreated? That pesky kid thing ties me to him pretty tightly. But I suppose I could be vague and let people think I was divorced which is the natural assumption if I don’t mention that he died but still reference the time we were married or his existence in general.
What do I do about Dad though? That’s my whole life and if I don’t fess up to him being dead, and just write about him as though he were still alive – well, that has a higher creepiness factor, right? Or wrong?
Maybe I should just stick to chronicling my journey from Earth Mother to Crone with occasional side-trips to my maiden days of yore. Plumbing heavy posts. And tales of my war against middle-aged girth.
I can’t write about Rob. And not because he forbids it – though there are things he would rather I not blog about – but because he has that whole dead wife issue. And way more years to avoid bringing up than I have . Twenty-seven. That’s half of his life. The adult half. And of course if I mention the step-daughters at all, well that makes him seem divorced too unless I put it in context.
Perhaps being divorced is more acceptable than being widowed? It is less creepy because it is closer to the norm for someone my age? Only old women like my mother should have buried a husband. For her that is normal and acceptable to reference because old people have that well known tendency to dwell in the past, having not all that much future to look forward to anymore.
There was a small window of time where I let people assume I was divorced. I never mentioned what happened to BabyD’s father. But then I started to feel that I was besmirching Will’s memory, letting others assume he was a rat bastard who wasn’t a part of his daughter’s life.
It was easier with people who knew me. There was no explaining to be done. But I got tired of everyone else being able to reference events in their lives that I was suddenly forbidden to mention because it might make someone uncomfortable or – god forbid – creep them out.
I started writing at 50 something in late September. My first piece went up just a few weeks before we had to go back to Iowa because Dad’s cancer was spreading much faster than they had thought it would. And there has been an inordinate amount of loss between Rob and I in the last year and half. Frankly, I think he was on to something when he suggested we have everyone in the family take a “no dying” pledge for the remainder of the decade at least. Life here is not just gloom but there are things I am still putting back in order or assigning new order to or simply ditching, and I do a lot of my pondering about these things in words. I thought that is what writers did. My bad.
So, no more death and dying at 50 something Moms. I will simply state the facts about the people in my immediate family and let people- who haven’t read my creepier stuff – assume what they will. Not my business what anyone thinks of me anyway, as my mom (who is still alive and therefore an acceptable reference) always says.