My friend leaned close and asked, "Do you have trouble sleeping through the night?"
I answered, "Of course. I wake up between 1 and 3 and have trouble getting back to sleep."
(I'm not sure whether or not this is an affect of not having to get up at six A.M. since retiring.)
My friend said, "I keep thinking about my mother. I wish I had known what she was going through."
This spoke to my own sadness over my mother. My mother is still alive in a nursing home, but her mind is no longer clear. I recently delved into her life while making sense of those accumulated family photos without names and dates. I realized there was much disappointment in her life. I did not feel particularly close to my mother, even though we spent many family weekends and vacations together. Today she gives me a smile that lights up her face and says, "I love you." I am grateful even for this. I remember mostly criticism as a youngster, although I assume she must have loved me as her child. We rarely had meaningful conversations or shared our thoughts. We didn't even have real arguments.
My friend said, "If I had known maybe we could have helped."
I related a time in my mother's life when in retrospect she had said she had barely enough to get by. Although she joined us every Sunday for dinner, I had no idea.
My friend said, "It must have been a generational thing that our mother's didn't share their lives."
I am reminded of my mother, in one of her lucid moments, saying of her mother, "She didn't deserve the troubles in her life." I wasn't aware of these either. Some came to light only years after my grandmother passed away. If my mother and grandmother discussed their lives, I was not included.
********************* I GUESS IT WAS A GENERATIONAL THING ********************