Just Life / Life and Pets

“You never take care of anything …

… you never have and you never will.”

Sometimes I wish that I could forget all of the hurts, slights and rebukes of the past. Oh, I have let go of crap that was said when the “deliverer” of it apologized, or the rebuke or lecture was richly deserved. Occasionally the one who delivers unkind words or condescension has too much going on, too.  I have made my own mistakes and said that I was sorry.

If I’ve ever “made a hole in your fence” and not issued an apology, I apologize. Usually, if I’m aware that I’ve carelessly hurt someone, I’m crushed with contrition.

As I try to “gain control” again this fall, sort out the greenhouse and all of the gardening paraphernalia, Myrtle’s voice is in my head.


In some sense, I have forgiven. But as I try so hard to conquer the clutter, maintain or sort or fix items, that voice is still in my head. I think I never got over the incident during which I felt written off as a decent person, and learned of resentments that Myrtle had that I hadn’t been aware of.

That harangue happened when things were falling apart with my husband and he had just belittled me for something (yet another thing) over which I had no control. I felt “lower than a snake’s belly” that day, and almost checked into the hospital.

For Myrtle to yell (while brandishing her long, manicured finger), “You NEED to gain some control around here!!!” made me realize that she had no idea how out-of-control things felt to me! I didn’t defend myself nor walk away.

In the following weeks, I wrote to Myrtle to tell her how her constant criticism had affected me, and that I couldn’t stand for it any more. That if she was going to behave this way or belittle my daughters, she shouldn’t visit. Months later, Myrtle wrote back, saying that she was sorry that I take everything as criticism, that I had a “complex” and am too damned sensitive. Not really an apology; even Pat said, “This is bullshit.”

On the phone, my dad admonished that Myrtle found my issue hard to deal with because she had found a lump in her breast. How could I have known?

As Myrtle became elderly and infirm, and my dad as well, they didn’t visit and assess how things were done at our home. She didn’t have any clue as to whether “Nobody knows where anything is!”, or whether things got broken, used up, fixed or discarded. Eventually, too, she quit criticizing what we wore or anything else we did that she was aware of. Myrtle seemed to love us and crave our company … my daughters watched over her in Calgary and I got there as often as I could.

Anyway… thanks for letting me talk this through. Cinder and I will now go back out to, you know, take care of stuff. I will let the crisp autumn breeze clear the cobweb of past troubles from my mind, as I have very few troubles now.

Love, Ann

p.s. I have “help” all the time!

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Cinder, “I took this apple from the horse, okay?”

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Baxter, a cutie pie!

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