As we age we go through stages. Our youth drags, it seems like we will never be old enough to hang with our older siblings, get our drivers licence,go on dates, graduate from high school. Be able to go to clubs. Get married, have children, buy our first home and the list goes on and on. There is always a new goal or challenge in our lives.
The saddest is waiting for death. I have watched it over and over and I hate seeing the process. The kids move out, they stop coming by as much. The phone calls slow, they move further away. They have their own families and get busy with their own lives and things slow down to a trickle. Some people get sad and soon they are gone. But some like my Fern across the street are spunky, she has things to do. Her home, yard and garden mean more to her then to most. At 89 she is out fussing in her yard every day and at one time there was never a weed found in her yard. This isn't so any more however her flower beds are still gloriously beautiful. Fern has a pocket full of girlfriends and they used to shop and go to lunch but now they chat by phone the lucky one's that can still drive come by and visit. But so do the vultures...
A vulture is the worst because usually they are family members. When Walter, Fern's husband was alive none of these people ever dared to come by. Walter's bite was as ugly as his bark, he scared everyone that crossed his path. Disagreeable is putting it lightly, he made Fern unhappy for most of their marriage. Walter passed away about 5 years ago and I thought that Fern would finally have peace. The rest of her life would be spent quietly doing exactly as she pleased with out anyone yelling at her. But ...I didn't account for the vultures.
Soon, cousins and nieces decended upon her all under the umbrella of condolences...They preyed on her love of blood ties. I tried to warn her off but she only pis-hawed me. This was her favorite relatives child and was okay. Next thing I knew they were upgrading her home and buying new cars and installing automatic garage door openers all under the pretense of convenience for Fern. But Fern is a simple woman and hates change, she loved her car.And the new car they bought fits snugly in the garage new door and all. She crashed into it so much that she can not drive anymore. So the cousin that talked her into the car, talked her into letting him have the car as she didn't need it anymore anyway. The favorite niece, who was so attentive moved herself in with the promise of a monthly rent (150.00 a month, far less then half of what she was paying before). But Fern had only said we'll see... in truth Fern didn't want to be alone so she thought that this may be alright. But the niece won't pay and she won't clean. I have seen Fern picking up sticks in the yard with the niece sitting on the lawn watching her. Then she moved her son in, the day he got out of prison over Fern's protests. The niece says that Fern is giving her the house so she should just shut up and let her have it now. She treats Fern as if she is the undeserving relative. The cousin got her to sign over full power of attorney so there is nothing Fern can do that he doesn't have control over.
My anguish is overwhelming because all I can do is watch. I watched as this happened to my beloved mother. I watched as it happened to my wonderful father in law.I watched as it happened to my sweet Rose and her mentally disabled son Terry. All I can do is watch as it happens to my spunky and feisty Fern.
I look in Fern's eyes that used to dance with defiance and I see that time is losing it's battle I will be having to say goodbye soon, too soon. I hate saying goodbye. Say a prayer that these vultures are removed and that Fern can live even a day without them in her life.