deadly beauty

The ice storm hit us Thursday night, knocking out electrical power for a while. I didn’t realize how bad the storm had been further north until I set out for Massachusetts this morning with the car radio reporting on the tens of thousands of New Yorkers still without power.
I drove across the swaths that the ice storms devastated, paralyzing the trees along the way with thick crystalline bonds. I wished that I hadn’t packed my camera (somewhere in the back of my car that was loaded to the roof with boxes and bags of my life’s accumulations, including my desktop, printer, and monitor and more cables than I could possibly have use for).
The landscapes I passed looked like stage sets for the Snow Queen or a scene from some alien planet. When I finally stopped at a rest stop, it was closed (no power). The other rest-stoppers were as unwilling as I to use the outdoor port-a-potties in the 15 degree weather. But many of them went back to their cars for their cameras to capture the bushes outside McDonald’s, their thickly iced branches arched over like so many alien tentacles. The sun was out and the ice looked lit from within. I had no idea under which layer my camera was buried, so I passed up the chance for some amazing photos.
The news on the radio reported that some people will be without power until Monday. Several towns had curfews to keep people from driving over icy roads at night
It’s a little chilly here at my daughter’s, even though the heat is on. We have to figure out how to get more heat into my part of the house. I love it cold when I’m sleeping, but at the moment, I’ve got cold feet blogging.
I am worried about my (92 year old) mom — not because of the cold (and my brother has a generator in case of power failure). I’m worried because the dementia is getting a lot worse, and she cries and wails almost all of the time. My brother doesn’t want to sedate her, which seems to be the only thing to do at this point, as far as I and the doctor are concerned. I can’t tell how much pain she’s in, but when she moans, “oh..oh…oh….oh..” and seems to be in great distress, I can’t help wanting to give her something more than Tylenol to relieve whatever it is, to ease her brain as well as her body.
But my brother won’t let me, believing that there is no drug that will make her feel better but not knock her out. There might well not be. But I’d rather knock her out, take the pain and anxiety and fear from her face, give her some peaceful sleep, a respite from the demons of decay.
I can’t stand to have to stand by and watch her suffer. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m here and not there.
Our doctor ordered a nurse to come in once a week and see how’s she’s doing. My brother is objecting, for reasons that are only relevant to him and his demons.
Well, it ain’t over til it’s over, and I might have to get her out of there. But if I do, I will have to put her in a nursing home, and I don’t think that she would survive very long there.
A former colleague — one known for his series of extra-marital affairs — once told me that he could live with guilt.
I don’t live with guilt that easily.

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