Saturday, August 28, 2010
Regular readers of this space know this blogger travels to Atlanta, Georgia to help Mom and just keep her company almost every month. My mother lost her husband and my stepfather in 2005 and to prostate cancer. (In fact, my Mom had breast cancer, and my father and stepfather passed away from prostate cancer in 2005, so that was a hard year.) Fortunately between good friends nearby and my aunts and uncles just four hours by drive in Tennessee, and then me, she's not without company.
Even though it's hard on me as an only child, and I'll explain why later in this post, I do enjoy my company with my Mother and for several reasons. First, she knows who I am as a person. Second, I don't know how much life I have to share with her, she's a breast cancer survivor, so things she may said or done that have bothered me in the past, don't impact me anymore. Third, she's my only family member. And finally, my stress goes away when I'm here. We're out in the country where you need a good car to get to, and the wide open space (which is evident in the video) is incredible.
I find Oakland to be a stressful place to live. If it's not the noise and the constant sirens, it's the fact that at times it seems people are everywhere and you can't escape them. Then there's the occasionally neurotic person who's screwed up for some reason. Then there's the city's constant need for money such that it tries to get it from high parking rates and fees for this and that. And finally it's the large number of people who seem unhappy because they're out of work or for some other reason.
Now, all of that's offset by the fact that I know a lot of people and I am very much part of the fabric of the Oakland community. I have a good set of Godparents in Oakland, and friends I love very much. Plus, there are a lot of small "life fabric" improvements to celebrate in Oakland. But the overall mood of the city has been more negative than positive for most of the time I've lived in it. Oaklanders always talk about potential; I'm tired of hearing about that. After a while that gets to be a bit much.
So all of that brings me here to Georgia. Yes, Mom would love it if I has a family with kids, and that will happen one day. But my priority is to make sure my Mom's doing fine.
That's what my friends - some of them - don't seem to get. I'm an only child - no brothers or sisters to help out with Mom. My mindset is different such that I have to make my schedule with my Mother in mind. Thankfully my work makes that possible.
But all of that's mostly my guilt, which I've learned is common in only children to have. Whatever the reason, I've never felt better about me than over these last few years of my life. And that's because I'm right with my Mom.
Posted by Zennie Abraham at 9:51 PM