I've blogged incessantly about my lack of friends, why and how I came to have a lack of friends and what (if anything) I can do about it. For a period of time, that's pretty much all I blogged about. I really thought I was in a better place mentally and emotionally because I didn't feel the need to blog incessantly about it.
I was wrong.
I still think about my Mom a lot. I try to think of her as she was when I was younger and not as she was in her last years, but I can't help but think of her life as sort of a collective body of work with a very unhappy finale. I've also insisted that I don't want to end up like her, but I'm starting to think that I have little control over the situation.
I always assumed that my mother was a solitary person who didn't mind spending time alone. I never paid attention to whether or not she made any attempt to change her situation. I do remember that she was very good friends with my sister in law's mother. When my Dad was alive, the four of them were very social together going to dinner, movies, concerts, etc... When my Dad died, Sue was her rock. When my sister in law's father retired, however, that's when things got dicey. He was very possessive of his wife, and her personality was not one that lent itself to .... shall we say... independent action... We found out a few years later that he had Alzheimer's disease. Unfortunately, the damage to their friendship was done. I knew my mother was sad about it, but I now believe that she was probably devastated.
The bottom line is that I really have no idea if she tried to cultivate new friendships as she progressed through her middle age years and beyond. Besides making me question my worth as a daughter, this leaves me with all sorts of questions. I am really like her? Did she have friends when she was in her 20's that she gave up on? Did she, like me, try to turn her work associates into personal friends only to have her hopes dashed? She bowled with friends and relatives well into her 50s. Did she think that they would become close friends? Was she upset when she stopped bowling and the friends drifted away out of her life?
The simple fact is that I am petrified of spending the last years of my life alone. I have always thought that my mother was alone most of the time because she was crabby and disagreeable.... but just maybe she was crabby and disagreeable because she was alone. A vicious cycle. Which again causes me to question my worth as a daughter. Would her mood have improved if I had forced myself to spend more time with her? I'll never know.
Yes, we have the power to shape our destinies.... to a point.
I'm married to a man who prefers his old antique car to me a lot of the time. He thinks that spending time at home is a waste of time, I guess. I don't know. He doesn't realize that his presence is the important thing - not that we have to be engaged in conversation or activity together every minute he's home. What is that saying about two people who are just able to be in each other's presence without the need for words?
I am miles ahead of where I was 10 years ago, in that at least I do have one important friend. She is 20 years older than me. We're an interesting and unexpected pair. Sometimes I get the feeling that people don't know what to make of us. We don't talk about the age difference very often anymore. I think that when people connect on a mental, emotional and spiritual level, chronological age is rendered irrelevant. I love this woman. She has made me a better person in more ways than I can count. We are good for each other in all sorts of ways. But I can't deny that I find myself thinking about what I will do without her someday. The thought of this makes me want to cry and- in fact, I have done just that. I don't like reminders of her age, but they are there and for me to ignore them or disrespect them is unkind and unfair. If I'm to be any kind of friend, I must respect them and be considerate of them and of her. I've gone through periods of flat-out denial, and other times I've attempted to bridge the gap by pointing out the signs of my own advancing age. I guess my behavior has been sort of stupid at times. And really, who knows what the future holds? I really am getting to the age where people my age are passing away from untimely deaths-all the time, it seems like. What if I'm next?
Right now I am 51 years old and already feeling alone. Which makes my problem worse than my mother's problem at this age. I'm on the fast track, comparatively speaking. What to do? As I've said before, one doesn't just impose oneself on other people and expect positive results. I can't force people to invite me to things. I can't force my husband to stay home. He'd probably be miserable - at which point I'd end up telling him to go away. This aloneness makes me irrational. Another vicious cycle. Who wants to hang around with an irrational, clingy and needy person?
Maybe it would be best to accept my fate. I may become the crazy cat lady who carries on conversations with herself. And the cats. At least they won't argue with me.....much.