We had a 25 pound cat named Spike. He used to hide his two pound head behind a curtain and play Hide and Seek. Our role was to say in an aghast tone, “Where’s Spike? Has anyone seen Spike? Meanwhile the remaining 23 pounds of him were pillowing outside his curtain wall and his tail would begin to flick about as if to say, “They’ll never find me. I am just that good”.
Lately, I’ve had my head behind some metaphorical curtains. My game started last August 11th when my dad had a stroke and my sisters and I came to blows. Dad’s not getting any better, my mom has since been hospital three times, and the Pierman Sisters (for whom my blog is named) are not quite back to whole.
My dad is 92 my mom is 89. There will come a time I will be an orphan. My parents’ train has left the station and will be pulling into their final destination soon. I tell myself, “they could live to be 105, Mother Pearl did,” but that’s just another way to hide.
Our stay in Paris has allowed me to be altogether invisible. No one here knows to even ask how I’m doing and I am able to be carefree–it feels a lot like last August 10th. Until night fall. And then I’m reminded, August 11th happened and even if I veil my head in a curtain of denial, the rest of me remains exposed. I am reminded that damn train is still moving and getting closer.
We don’t have a house to host our 21st annual Kentucky Derby party this year in May. What a crazy thing to dwell on? It’s just that at last year’s party everything was as it should be. Mom and dad drove themselves to our party. Twenty or more of us huddled around the TV to watch the race, screaming and willing our horses to win. None of us were thinking it might be mom and dad’s last Derby party.
I know I’ve already experienced a lot of lasts with my parents. The last time they visited us in Arizona, the last time they went to our mountain cabin, the last time dad drove, the last time I got to play dominoes with them. So many lasts. So many more happening every day. I miss them already. Mom tells me all the time that she’s about ready for her journey to end. But I’m not.
Spike. He would tire of his Hide and Seek game after awhile and he’d come out from behind the curtain, each time his head held high and triumphant for winning again. I will not feel triumphant when I inevitably end my game. But I know it is time for me and my sisters to stop hiding. We are going to need each other when that train pulls in.