October 28, 2018
I have not posted here in several years. I spent the last three years care taking my husband, Dr. Paul Barlow, who passed away July 21, 2018. I have been working through my grief and planning my future.
WHO AM I NOW?
November of 2018, I am reassessing my present reality:
In my lifetime, I have been in roles that were designed because I was born female. I have been a daughter, a sister, a niece, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, and a great grandmother.
My parents are dead so I am no longer a daughter; my husbands are dead so I am no longer a wife. My brother is thankfully still alive so I am a sister. He has recently re-married so I am again a sister-in-law. My aunts and uncles are dead so I am no longer a niece, but all five of my children are alive so I am still a mother. I have three living grandchildren so I am a grandmother. I have five great-grandchildren and three nephews so I am still a great grandmother and an aunt.
What does it mean to no longer be daughter, wife, niece?
What does it mean to still live the role of mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother?
Strange to me how I have chosen to express my life through these roles. And as I am designing my last decade in this life on the planet, I look to these roles to still define me. OR, is there another role—crone—old wise woman– that I can fulfill?
Where did the therapist, the consultant, the writer, the lecturer, the workshop leader go? What happened to Dr. Marjorie R. Barlow, Ph.D? These roles in my life were part of my professional development and they are now passé.
So, I am back to one. One life. One woman. One day at a time. I choose to be independent as long as I can. I am trying to make the choice of relying on my children or turning to the current care of old folks in institutions. What is the best, most loving choice I can make? Who am I now? What am I now? How do I serve now?
Elizabeth, the Queen of England is a year older than me. Her life has been prescribed because of the nature of her birth. She still has a job as Queen. Therefore, she will live out her days in some form of royal entitlement. She gives me solace in the way her neck and shoulders also are stooped so I am feeling justified in my new body configuration! I too, have become a crone with a widow’s hump.
I was born a peasant. My entitlement is my freedom of choice. I can choose. And that is my truth. So, what do I choose? Answering that question is the focus of my thoughts these days.