As I was tooling around yesterday in the car, flitting here and there, a song I had not heard before came on the radio. According to the DJ it was a new song by Jason Mraz, 93,000,000 miles. I like many of his songs and this one caught my attention.
The lyrics contain the following:
oh my beautiful mother
She told me, “Son in life you’re gonna go far, and if you do it right you’ll love where you are
Just know, that wherever you go, you can always come home”
Much to my surprise, my eyes welled with tears and my throat constricted as I started to cry. Because, it hit me, I can’t go home. My mother passed away last February and my father passed away, on the same day 11 years before that. In reality, I am “the Home.” I am the parent now, the oldest generation. There is no one I can go home to when I need that reassuring hug from mom or dad. No one to consult for advice. No one to remember me as a child. No parent to share holidays with. No one to visit and find sitting in the small home I grew up in that always felt like it hugged me as I walked in the door.
Being the oldest generation is a huge responsibility; one that my parents and generations before them endured. Some with grace, others struggling through their whole lives. As the oldest parent, you are shouldered with the duty of being the consultant. The keeper of family lore. The one who remains calm and in control in a crisis, so that others can look to you for their strength. That is a lot to take on, even at 54 years old. I know I can do all of these life requirements and more, after all I have been doing many of them for years. It just makes me sad. I never realized how much I enjoyed the comfort of knowing mom and dad were always there for me if I needed them. And I miss that.