Well, it’s only about 90 miles, but to get my mom and me from here to there continues to be a monumental effort.
She’s there and being cared for as her logical mind keeps slipping away.
I’m here and there. Almost too tired to care anymore.
Sometime after the beginning of August, I will have a new email address, which you will be able to find tucked away if you link to About Me. I will, hopefully, have my new ISP set up sooner than later. Maybe I’ll even do a little Kalilily Time refurbishing.
Meanwhile, please keep me in your good thoughts. I still have to move my plants, cat, computer etc., lamps, mirrors, and fifteen pairs of dollar store reading glasses that I can never find when I need a pair.
The Salvation Army comes on Friday to pick up the usable leftovers. Then I clean up what’s left.
I have had help packing and schlepping from two of my dearest friends. Michaela, I owe you big time.
I will make it through this. I will make it through this. I will make it through this.
your nails are ripped and ragged from the ravages of cardboard and tape. hers are long and tough. she tries to file them down every day. at least she did before she started more forgetting. the language center is dissolving. non-existent words come out of her mouth and she knows it, is frustrated by the inability to make her point. you can be patient about that; you can respond to someone in pain. it’s when she climbs her high “you owe me” horse that your own frustration turns your language into expletives. there is no more patience left to deal with the controlling patterns of the self-involved manipulator you’ve spent your life distancing from.
I sit in the middle of packed and unpacked boxes, empty shelves. There’s only one chair that’s left unlayered, and that’s the one in front of the computer. I’m back from an overnight with my mom in her new place. The moving was hard on her; she’s disoriented, unsure of where she is or why she’s there. I do the best I can for her, and we find some things to laugh about. Mostly, she cries.
I try to make a list of all the things I need to do before I move, all those address changes for both of us…. I have to get my oil changed and brakes re-lined. Heh, you know — the car. Call the Salvation Army for pick-up. There are friends I will not have time to see before I leave. I keep chipping away at my hair. I do that when I’m stressed. I wonder how I’d look bald.
I will get through th1s.
she got lost in the woods today, even though you told him that moving would disorient her even more. she went down to the pond, in 90 degree heat, by herself. he calls the police, but finds her, finally, stumbling up the rise toward your new digs, using a tree limb as a cane, a strange stone tucked into her pocket. she’s calling for help. she can’t remember why she walked away into the woods. she says she had a reason. but she can’t remember. she can’t remember. you are 86 miles away, your stomach in knots.
We will get through this. We will get through this. We will get through this.
I will blog my way through it.
I grow old…I grow old
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
And so I ate a peach for lunch, with brie and 8-grain baguette. And, even through brain-fried by heat and over-exertion, I remember Prufrock.
One of my old folks’ home neighbors invited me to dinner last night, along with two other even older neighbors. Good ol’ fashioned brisket and gravy. Challah. Breyer’s ice cream for dessert. They think I’m an angel. They also think my mother is spoiled and takes advantage of me. (Ya’ think?)
I didn’t tell them that now my mom is ensconced (under protest) in her new place, I’m laying the law down for her. She’s got to live by the rules that I and my brother set down for her safety and our sanity. She doesn’t like it. But then, again, there is little that she ever liked anyway.
But still I run around still moving her stuff, moving me — still moving me. Too much stuff but not the stuff I need for an empty loft space.
The peach was lussccciioouuus.
I cut my hair a little punk. A punk Crone. Who says it can’t be so.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
T.S. I love you. Still.
There’s a mullein patch growing along the side of my future driveway — three tall, thick-stemmed, and blossoming plants. As I understand it, this tenacious weed blooms every other year. All around the three bloomers are scattered plants that must be yearlings — all leaves, no blooms, and — I notice as I pull up next to the building — battered into the ground by the hard rain that just finished falling, taking the electrical power with it.
I have brought my mother to her/our new digs. It’s hot, humid, it’s almost sunset. And the power is out.
We make do.
The space in which she will be living is a lot smaller than the two-bedroom suite she had in the upscale old folks home out of which I am still moving us. The garage bay where I should park my car is filled with her boxes and furniture that won’t fit in her new space. She wants all her things, she complains. And complains.
I’m hot. I’m tired. I had to do all the packing, help with the moving. I lose my temper. If you had to go into Assisted Living, I tell her, you wouldn’t be able to take hardly any of this stuff. Here you have two kids are are willing to take care of you and all you think about is your crappy furniture.
I stand by her window and watch the local humingbird flutter around the red and yellow feeder that my brother put up right where she could sit at her table and watch the little miracle. Some mourning doves tussle over bits of bird food that have fallen from the bird feeder as a cardinal pecks away at the stash.
In the morning, the mullein plants that had been beaten down by the rain are happily drying and flexing in the sun.
I think about our former 92 year old neighbor with crippling and painful arthitis who occupied my mother while the major furniture pieces got moved out. I’ve been taking her grocery shopping once a week. Her only son lives in California. Somehow she manages life on her own. She rarely complains, and even then it’s about her arthritis. She was a great help with my mother, even though my mother is younger. I hope that she finds someone to take her grocery shopping.
Tonight, I’m back in my old one-bedroom apartment, faced with cleaning out my mother’s suite tomorrow. It’s still cluttered with stuff I hope she forgets about because I’m going to throw it away.
Coming full circle, it seems, I arrived back here tonight to a 250 unit building in which the power was out.
On top of that, my poor cat hadn’t eaten in more than 24 hours because, although I had filled her food dish, I had left it on the counter. She was either too well trained or too stupid to seek it out herself.
The long days are far from over. Still much to move down to the land of the mullein and hummingbird.
The moving van comes tomorrow for our furniture and all they can fit of my mom’s boxes. I’ll have to figure out how to get the rest of my stuff to the new digs, but I have two weeks in which to do that.
The good news is that I lost five pounds, what with all the non-stop bending and lifting and walking to the trash room and back. The bad news is that my back is killing me.
I’m definitely going to get a massage as soon as I can get an appointment.
There is so much bad news breaking lives apart every day. The Big Picture is so very much out of control. So I’m hanging on to the Little One as best I can.
Mom is not taking the packing very well. She keeps forgetting what it’s all about. Worries that I’m abandoning her, wants to know who’s taking her stuff away. That’s been the most exhausting part of packing — dealing with my mom’s delusions.
There’s the cutest little skink lving under a layer of bricks right outside the door to where I will be moving. I’ll bet she’s laid her eggs under there and soon we’ll be surrounded by a hoard of little skinks. Better skinks than skunks.
as you go through the nooks and crannies in her apartment, you realize why she never seems to have plastic storage baggies for leftovers and little paper cups in the bathroom. it’s because she takes the plastic baggies, rolls them up, puts a rubber band around them, and sticks the batches in various drawers and boxes. in those boxes, tucked into corners of closets, also are larger storage baggies full of little paper cups. and more lids to jars long discarded. because, you know, you never know…
I am considering having a nervous breakdown so that I can spend a couple of weeks somewhere in heavenly solitary confinement. And then, after someone else winds up clearing out our apartments and moving all of our stuff, I’ll have a miraculous recovery.
“Crone, Interrupted,” my daughter quips when I tell her my fantasy.
The moving van comes for all of our furniture and boxes on Monday. I know there will be a lot of small things left as yet unpacked that I will have to deal with.
I will make it through this. I will make it through this. I will make it through this.
Two carloads of stuff went down to the new place with me and my friend yesterday. When we were all done, we went into the nearby town and had a very late lunch. I had brie and blueberries on grilled sourdough bread. And blueberry lemonade.
Such diversions will help me make it through this.
You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the friends, the health, and the children you have earned. — Judith Viorst
Viorst also said
the many challenges of marriage and the family sometimes made me feel as if my only two choices were homicide – or humour. I chose humour.
Good choice, Judith — although, at the moment, I’m feelig more homicidal.
Mom and our furniture get moved on Monday.
Tomorrow I and a good friend of mine (who is on vacation but offered to give me a day of her time to help with the move) are loading up both of our cars and driving down to the new digs to unload some stuff and finish painting my piece of the place.
I must have done something right to have a friend like her.
The same goes for my children, my health, and my face.
I can live with that, although I do wish I had a better hold on that humour!
The Brits (the citizens, that is, not the rulers) have come a long way in these more than 225years. Well, so have we. And now we’re more alike than not.
Thanks to Stu Savory over in Germany for cluing me in to this Flash animation that’s a reminder of how much we have in common with those fellow tea drinkers — especially our distaste of Big Brother.
Here’s to global interdependence.