Wednesday, May 03, 2017

musings from somewhere over the atlantic

iceland air FI657, somewhere over the atlantic

i don’t think there’s any way to emotionally prepare for this. clearing out our childhood home. the photos, the show clothes, the memories. the realizing that there’s not much there that i wish to have or keep. the clinging. the letting go. whether to reveal to mom what we’re doing. how she will react. whether she will understand. whether i have compassion and sympathy for her. so many questions, many more than answers. and a limbo space, where i don’t know what to feel. anticipation, dread, relief, nostalgia, resentment, disappointment, sadness? all of those at once?

she’s not going to get any better. she has checked out and she’s no longer the mother i knew. if i ever knew her. can we know our mothers? can we escape them? embrace them? become them? what if we become them? shit, what if we become them?

her utter lack of ever being wrong. her hiding of her actions. her lack of attention span. her distractions. what if i’m already her? how to escape?

i look at my hands and see hers. but also mine. we are always a combination of our parents and our experiences. but who does that mean that i am? i look at my handwriting and see dad’s.

dad was smart, sarcastic, a bit too mean at times, he drank a bit too much, loved his garden, was writer and cared deeply about his town. he was funny and competitive and political and i miss him.

mom is distracted, determined, funny, loves to sing, doesn’t listen very well, was never rattled if 8 extra people showed up to thanksgiving. but i suspect mom never reached her potential. was it laziness? or did she just not know what it might be? she loved horses and instilled that love in me. she got a motorcycle license at 60 and a permit to carry at 70+. i miss that brave woman.

they both loved reading. however, i don’t have a sense of what they got out of it. i love reading too, but i don’t recall them ever recommending i read a certain book. i just read what was around the house and anything else i was interested in….from stephen king to tolstoy.

i want a tattoo of dad’s signature on the inside of my wrist. and i want to get it on this trip. i have a sudden certainty of that. on my right hand. the hand with which i write.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

taking my own temperature

i have a weird mixture of anticipation and dread. i head for the states later today. we're going to do a major tidy-up/clearing out of our childhood home (therein lies the dread) and i'm going to see the child and she's going to come home with me (therein lies the anticipation). we don't know how much to tell mom or whether to reveal to her that i'm there before we've made a good dent in the project. and i really don't know how i feel about that. it seems like i should spend time with her during the whole of the time i'm there, but on the other hand, it might agitate and upset her more to not be part of the clean-up. and if she's part of the clean-up, there won't be any clean-up. alzheimer's is a bitch.

speaking of which, i just read this piece, where researchers are beginning to think of it as type III diabetes. mom has type 2 diabetes, as did her mother before her and this makes sense to me. now, i must avoid getting diabetes myself...