The Mountain View

I have shifted back into my crappy sleep pattern. It started at the end of last week. I’m blaming it on all sorts of things like being cold, the time change I’m not adjusting to, not getting enough exercise and just my brain working overtime. There is also the creepy YouTube channel The Husband had on that gave me a night full of nightmares. I think it was just enough to tip my brain over the edge. Anyway, one morning when I woke up at 5:00 (it’s still dark at that hour and Myles is sleeping so I tried to lay quietly so as to not wake him and The Husband) and I had an interesting thought.

I have a couple of curious memories from when I was a small child. I’m talking 4 or 5 years old. One is waking fairly early in the morning and going into my parents bedroom. My mother would get up and go down to the kitchen to make coffee and breakfast. Always coffee first. My father would have me get a little wooden jar that sat on his dresser and held coins. We would then set the jar near the pillows and gently bounce the coins off the bed trying to get them into the jar. I suspect it was a way to distract me while my mother made breakfast but also at the same time my father would tell me about the coins. There were pennies with Native Americans on them and Mercury dimes and a few really big shiny silver dollars. I still have these coins and that wooden jar. The other memory happened every year in December. My father would be sitting at his desk, the one that now sits in my living room, and he’d take out a couple of savings account passbooks and the money I got from his mother for my birthday and Christmas. He’d then ask me which money should we put in which passbook and he’d show me how much interest the account had earned in the previous year.

All of my childhood my father handled the bills and the money. He took care of the mortgage, the insurance and the taxes. All the business that goes along with life. One day after a friend’s husband had passed away unexpectedly my mother said in passing to another friend in my presence that she wouldn’t even know where to start if something happened to my father. Without really even thinking I said that you’d start with the tax returns. It would be the road map.

When I was in junior high my father bought the house next door to the one we lived in. It was a kind of crazy unplanned thing. The elderly woman who lived there was moving into a retirement home and asked my father to sit in on the meeting she was having with the realtor. Before the realtor arrived my father made an offer for the house and whatever contents she was leaving behind and she accepted. My parents rented the house to a string of tenants, some really great ones and others not so much. Between each tenant came the cleaning and upkeep. I was in junior high when this happened and expected to help out. I learned how to do lots of house prep stuff.

When my father retired and my parents started to spend parts of the winter in Florida I became the point person for the tenants. By then there were more rentals which brought along more issues and more work. I was initiated into my father’s rental hobby as my mother called it. Over the years he scaled back his hobby and when his health began to turn he gave me more and more responsibility. He had me take over the finances. I’d write the checks, pay the bills, handle the deposits while he oversaw it all. It went from 50% each to 75% me to 99% me over time. When he passed away my mother didn’t have that I don’t know what to do feeling. It had all been done. When my mother passed away a short 6 months later and I had the 100% responsibility of everything I wasn’t overwhelmed by the enormity of what I had to deal with. I was able to deal with the business side of things as if it was on autopilot and concentrate on the emotional side of loss.

I like to think of this all in terms of climbing a mountain. When we start out at the bottom all we can see is an overwhelming climb. As we move up the mountain we pick up skills along the way. By the time we are approaching the summit we can look around at the view and we can see how far we have come. It can be applied to most anything that can be learned. My example is a very long term situation. A lived experience that is still one I live. There are lots of short term examples like learning math or cooking a new recipe. It isn’t until we’ve achieved it can we look back and see how far we’ve come.

About nothingbutknit2

I'm a wife, mother and knitter. Watch out for my pointy sticks.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Mountain View

  1. ReginaMary says:

    Great story. Wonderful experiences, too. I learned so much from my daddy. My mom handled things well after dad died, but there was still so much for her to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LDSVenus says:

    Great memories and much learning that has lasted you a life time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story! It is wonderful that your dad taught you so much, and that you have been able to build on what you learned from him!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your memories of your father. When a parent gradually slips away due to dementia, at some point you tend to forget how capable they once were. It is important not to forget this and actively remember. Your post was a reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.