Memoir Writing – Lesson 8 – My Later Years

I am celebrating my 75th Birthday this week.  I have traveled with my youngest daughter, Heather, and her son Brian via car to visit my eldest daughter, Dawn, in Sugar Land, Texas.

Dawn’s husband and two oldest children live in Texas.  Our trip is two-fold: Visit my daughter and her family.  Sprinkle my companions ashes in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Since Heather was the only one who could drive, we took two days to drive from Ohio to Texas.  She was not in the mood to drive from Sugar Land to Las Cruces.  A train ride was arranged, then renting another car in New Mexico to go to Las Cruces.  That has been accomplished.  Steve’s ashed got spread in Las Cruces. We have plans to meet up with Dawn’s oldest son on Thursday, but because the train doen’t return until Friday, Heather and Brian are going to ride a bus to San Antonio where Dawn, Kent (Dawn’s middle child), and I will join them.  Kurt who lives in San Antonio will pick them up at the bus station and we will all meet at the Alamo.  Plans are to see the Alamo and do the River Walk.

All of this may not seem hard or stressful, but to me it is.  Sprinkling my companion’s ashes is the last thing that we can do for him and it has been seven years since he passed away.  I have not seen this daughter and her family for over eight years.  Relations with her and I, and her and Heather have been strained.  I felt she let me down after my heart surgery.  I asked her to make sure my bills and rent got paid.  I made arrangements for her to pay them out of my account (my companion said he didn’t know how to do it).  She did it for me for the first month but I was away from home for three months.  My bills did not get paid for two months.  Then she suddenly moved to Texas!  Divorced her husband!

The stress between her and her sister was regarding how they raised their children.  Dawn was constantly yelling at her children.  Heather was quieter.  She treated him like an adult to some extent.  Dawn felt that he was a spoiled brat and felt entitled.  It was just recently that they started speaking to each other, again.  I know it’s for my benefit.

It is hard for me to do normal things, like move quickly, get in and out of chairs, making meals, and I feel like a burden at times.  Heather, who cares for me and tends for me, tell me that I am not a burden for her.  Going to Las Cruces and spreading Steve’s ashes is doing me a favor and giving her a small break from me.  Dawn gets to deal with me and my needs in the meantime.

I’m sorry if this may have veered from our assignment this week, but it is tough and stressful to me mentally and physically.


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2 Responses to Memoir Writing – Lesson 8 – My Later Years

  1. Bill says:

    Happy Birthday.

    Don’t apologize, writing can be cathartic in dealing with difficult times. It was good you could honour your partner’s wish and spread his ashes in Las Cruces. Hopefully, provides you some sense of completion.

    I have enjoyed sharing the class with you.

  2. Steve says:

    As Bill has already said, writing can be cathartic. Even the sometimes easy part of putting pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, frees the mind to read and analyse our own problems or traumas. I am sure, that after showing us the difficulties you had undergone, you unburdened yourself to some degree. Again as Bill added no apologies are needed. A very touching story.

    Best wishes

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