Now, firmly entrenched in my “semi” retirement years,
the moldy oldy strains of “What’s it all about Alfy? play
on a poorly tuned concertina. Could I have done more?
Did I do enough? Should I have taken a different path?
As I sit on a cold winter morning under a fluffy electric
throw on my sacred chez lounge and tightly shut my eyes,
I hear: Enough! Good Enough! No one died. All are fed
and the sun will still rise.
One daughter wanted me to be Indira Gandhi. The other
expected Betty Crocker. While trying to satisfy both
orders, I had to settle for divorced mom, no soccer, three
jobs, night school and still be the Betty Indira hybrid.
In the end, the score was 0-0. I gave up both images
and took the middle road: a mix of Irma Bombeck
and Mother Teresa.
It’s laughable looking back and gauging all the muddling
and striving to be a better parent, balancing a career,
and somewhat languishing sex life and suddenly, they
were out of the nest and I was 50 with an octagenarian
mom on board. Caregiving became 24/7 as I saddled
up to do High Noon with greedy relatives racing
toward an imagined legacy.