Living with an Old One is not easy, nor is it any blessing either. All my young life I had to defer to the old people. The adults got the choicest morsels, the candy, the sweet heart of the watermelon. They got the window seat in the car. And I had to give up my room for them when they stayed while I slept on the sofa.
Everything needed to be just right for them. Or there was hell to pay. So being a child was not big fun fest. When I was a teen it was the same thing. The adults got the nice stuff the kids still got the left overs. I had to be polite to them while they could tell me my skin was bad or I was fat or any number of rude remarks. Inside I vowed to not be such a nasty adult. So I am not.
Now I made a huge faux pas of being kind, and, as my motto is no good deed goes unpunished I am being punished for my kindness and generous spirit I have despite of how I was treated as a child and the “role” models I had.
For a while I was successful in having the nice things first, then of course the Boss gets the nice things...employees get what the little boy shot at….zip.
Now I have an Old One living with me since I could not keep my niceness to my freaking self.
I do not get a seat in the sun, I do not get the room comfortable for me. I do get to hear the endless complaints on how nothing is as nice as when she was younger….lucky her! She lived a life where she never had to care for another or even be polite to others. She was foot loose and fancy free. Go to her house and you could starve to death before she would offer tea. We always ate before we visited since we knew there would be no refreshments after our 5 hour drive to visit. I hated those visits. But I was the child and she the adult so I learned how to sit quietly and wait for my turn. Mostly she would send me out to pull weeds in her garden. All those vegetables and not one of the dozen ripe ones would she offer. Her freezer was full of meat. It would be thrown out from freezer burn before she would cook and serve it to others.
She is now Old. She was being mistreated by those who were “caring” for her. She was a very generous person to non family members. Her neighbors would get those lovely tomatoes and squash and other nice ripe things. They would throw most of them out since she grew too much. We never took home anything from her...after all a five hour ride would wilt the produce….
Now she lives with me since she is Old. No one would come to take her. I was still my moral self, I have no religion or god watching me so I do these good things because they are the right thing to do. The religious relations could not be bothered with her.
I treat her well. I feed her well. I see to her every need since she is Old. I will get no heavenly reward I will get little in return except the satisfaction of doing the right thing.
But now I am not happy since I do not have a seat in the sun. I do not get the choice morsel to complain about, the fresh sheets to tug at because they are wrong….can’t tell me what it the problem since she never had to explain herself to anyone.
She never gave me anything. I hated gardening until I was 40. Yet I took her in because it was the right thing to do. It is still the right thing. And I will not change how I treat her because I am honorable to myself and know how a memory of bad behavior can sting for a lifetime. Maybe someday I will have the seat in the sun before I am Old. I know she always had the choicest of everything since she was 16. Now 80 years later she has hardened into the taking machine full of greed and she has such a greed for life. I guess that is why she will be 97 in 19 days.