Friday, January 23, 2015


(Mom's cat mug collection, #1. Made in Germany.)
Well, we mostly didn’t bicker today, so that is some kind of milestone, right? On the other hand, Mom was gone for a good four hours or more. And maybe some of the discord came from the stress of cats being sick almost from the time I arrived … a mere two weeks ago tonight. Now that Max is gone the stress of worry is replaced by grief.

Mom finally admitted that she is really grieving Max. Of course for me, that is “Duh” … there is so much shock, disbelief, and reality … well, way more than calibration … overhaul going on, I am not sure that Max’s passing has really sunk it.

And watching a show like Homeland, where there is some much distrust and manipulation of reality and relationships might have added to some timbre or tint to my overall current experience. I am in some kind of sensitized numb state.

I felt a little bit wan (sort of washed out in a Gwyneth Paltrow way, prone to mewling) and punk today so I took it a little easy. I did get down on my hands and knees to clean the kitchen floor which was dingey beyond my ability to tolerate it. It needs more scrubbing, but I made a marked difference. I get an item or two crossed off my list every day, although the list continues to grow as well.

Tomorrow, more shopping and cleaning and repotting plants. Also, I am making dinner (chicken with citrus sauce, quinoa, and coriander carrots, I think) for our friend PAS. We are all going to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel. PAS and I will drink gins-and-tonics.

I do feel as if I have taken my Mother by storm. I think she has been keeping it together, keeping herself together, and now I am in the picture, but who knows for how long. When and where can she comfortably give up control, relax, and be taken care of? And when might she be on her own again? These are big questions I think neither one of us really thought about. I know I didn't. She is defensive and, in some ways, a bit mistrustful of me. 

It may sound stupid on my part, but I really didn't realize how time has taken a toll on her. She was always so young and positive. (The next morning.) As I was falling asleep, I remembered (not intentional) short term memory loss is an issue in aging. That's not something you would notice just speaking to someone on the telephone. Now that I know this is what is going on, I can revert to patience and not just wonder if she is being spacey or annoying. 

The old tabby has some claws, still, and is prone to some poking and sarcasm. She remembers how to dish it out. And we have laughed. 

Different birds here, more songbird-y. The background noise is of the swish of the freeway, the occasional train whistle, and the workmen laughing and cutting paving bricks next door. 

You can't spend promises.
— William Holden as Danny in Texas (1941).

Today's poem from A good one.

What Is

or is true as

A pure river

Conditions for the equal good
to be as wise and fortunate

at the start

Lost in the pursuit

Under a white oak
two children sitting back
to back on a plank swing, calling

The hand
that touches the earth 
to witness

Presses the metal latch, opens
the screen door out from home

sunlight, pond water silence
damselfly at rest on a frond

Having come with you

this far into the drafty air

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