Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again*


Welcome back!

We went to “The Farm” [my parents’ house] for a couple of days, hence my silence in the great blog-o-sphere. I’ve missed this dreadfully! My mom is on dialup, and anytime there was a chance to be on the computer [i.e. when the kids and my crazy grandma were in bed] Mom was in there, working feverishly, trying to finish up some stuff that she can’t get done when my grandma is awake.

Grandma has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, so she’s a real trip to be around. She has to be the center of attention at all times, so when mom tries to get anything done in a different room [or do anything that isn’t watching TV in the living room with Grandma] she goes into a tizzy and basically throws a temper tantrum. It’s exhausting for mom [she doesn’t believe me when I say I have the same problems with my kids. Anytime I’m in here on the computer, they have seven thousand things they need help with, but if I’m in the living room watching something on TV that they want to watch, they all go to their rooms to play quietly. There has to be a name for that!]

Anyway, Mom’s working herself into an ulcer over this stuff, and that is a Bad Thing. There is a lot of not-so-good history between them, and it’s hard for mom not to take Grandma’s behavior personally. I don’t know how to help, and since I’m three and a half hours away, there’s not much I can do to give mom a break now and then. In a similar situation, I don’t know if I could have held out this long [it’s been several months since Grandma moved in]. I don’t know what the best course of action is, but I know that she can’t go on like she has been. It’s too stressful for her to deal with the constant verbal attacks, constant repetition of questions and statements, and complete lack of consideration for my mom’s needs by my Grandma.

Grandma may not be capable of thinking about anyone but herself anymore, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt my mom’s feelings when Grandma criticizes her.

Jeez, what an impossible situation. If you pray, would you pray for my mom? She would appreciate it, and so would I, more than you will ever know.

Thanks friends, it really is good to be back home again.

*I grew up listening to Country music, and one of my mom’s faves was John Denver. Lyrics for Back Home Again are here. Every time I hear a song by John Denver, I think of summertime at my mom and dad’s house before I started school [so it was before 1979]. I remember my brother smacking me in the head with his ‘head wand’ [He has Cerebral Palsy and is a quadriplegic with no control over his body except his head. Somebody, {can’t remember who} worked up a helmet-like apparatus with a metal wand sticking out of it so he could push buttons on a typewriter, play with cars, and smack his little sister in the head when she got lippy.]

I think of those times and remember that I wasn’t always timid, didn’t always doubt my own worth, wasn’t always afraid of my own shadow, didn’t always struggle with major depression. I remember being carefree [except for the whacks with the head wand] I remember believing that I could do anything I wanted, and planned to as soon as I ‘learned some stuff,’ like how to read and write. I wanted to find a cure for CP, even at age three or four.

“Back Home Again” came out in 1974, which is the year I was born. My dad has played the guitar and sung since he was a teenager, and my mom made him learn this song. He never would sing it, because he was a Hank Senior man, but he’d play it and my mom would sing [slightly off-key, but who cares, right?]

She never could get the bridge right [“And oh, the time that I can lay this tired old body down/ and feel your fingers feather soft up-on me/ the kisses that I live for, the love that lights my way/ the happiness that livin’ with you brings me.”] She always missed the notes on ‘fingers.’

One of my favorite memories is of being an older kid [I may have been married, so I was at least 21, which would make me an adult kid, I guess] and singing that part of the song with her, and doing it right! Not because I thought I was better than she was, but because of how proud she and my dad were that I could carry a tune! I hadn’t sung a note in front of either one of them since I was five or so and my mom told me I was singing off-key, so they had never heard me sing until that moment.

Strange what a simple song brings to mind, isn’t it?


About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

3 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories with us….I have listen to songs before and have been taken back 20 years in an instant….pretty amazing how songs can do that!

  2. Hello rof, thanks for the comment in the previous post.

    It’s good to be back. And we’re finally getting over this Horrid Cold From Hell, so things just keep getting better!

    Robin, you’re right, songs are indeed weird time travel devices. Old country songs always make me think of the happy parts of my childhood.

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