Saturday, April 2, 2016


Possibilities —
     Breathe In
     Breathe Out
          — Mom, at the top of a note that must have been for teaching.

It's so nice when she is gone and I am home alone. No TV on. No having to hear pundits chatter and Donald Trump's voice initiate internal questions about death, murder, and absence of reality.

We have a sunflower flower out back.

Next day.

Another night of not sleeping so well, plus weird music playing in the night. I thought perhaps, in a rare occurrence, Janet had gotten up to watch television. She is the family champeen sleeper, so I thought that unlikely. This time it was the Bose radio in the kitchen that came magically on. I have absolutely no clue about how this came about, but after not sleeping so well, I don't have the sharp dectecting skills to track down the answer. Also, I don't care very much.

Time for my first cup of coffee.

End of the day.

The point at which you tire of hearing about my travails with Janet, is the point where you can stop reading this particular entry.

She can be very funny. "You know there's no difference between sleeping and napping."  I wonder if she knew she was paraphrasing Popeye who said "When it comes to nappin', nuthin beatsk sleweepin'."

"Are we out of ice cream?" she queried in a petulant and concerned voice. I asked her what it was like to be five again. But it is really not that funny. She didn't remember that we bought quite a bit of ice cream yesterday.

We had a big brouhaha with the new cat, Merle, yesterday. Here are the bullet points:
  • Stray cat we've had for about a month;
  • Needed to be neutered;
  • Took him to vet, found that he had been microchipped;
  • Vet contacts owner; owner is looking for new home for him;
  • Owner says has paperwork to get free neuter but must find them;
  • Owner sends brother over to pick up cat and drop him at our house;
  • Merle is back, un-neutered, awaiting more information.
Janet must have asked me to explain this to her about 40 times. Sometimes she would ask me within five or ten minutes. Again, I just don't know if she is being needy and getting my attention by asking me questions repeatedly. I don't think she tries very hard. Is she tired, just from being 89?

Some of my reaction is just shock that she went mentally downhill. So. Fast. If we are lucky at all, some of this will be boredom and depression and she can get back a little "with-it-ness." We are doing much better with the pill taking, but anything that requires more than once a day or any kind of regularity (like a patch getting changed at the same time every day), has not been achievable.

She is freaking out a bit, although she wouldn't admit it, that I am going to Palm Springs for two nights and leaving her on her own. This is kind of a trial run to see what the parameters are of her taking care of herself. My hope is that this will make her more independent once she gets over her fear of my being gone.

This is so heartbreaking it sometimes seems unbearable. The slow, incremental, inexorable move to death, with a probable stop at incapacitation. It's hard to be here alone, watching it, living it on a daily basis. While I still lived in New York, I feared a telephone call in the night telling me she was gone.

Maybe I will adjust and rise to a better self in taking care of her. Maybe I will learn something that I would not apprehend any other way. Knowing that I will be homeless after she dies doesn't help. It's so very odd feeling that I am on the outside of life looking in at the world where people made better choices and had some better breaks continuin their private spins in relative comfort and security.

Sometimes life feels like a second language to me: I know how to speak it pretty well, but not as a native. No mother tongue for me.

First mini-eggplant.

Garden salad: red chard, Tuscan kale, spinach, two kinds of greens, purslane, nasturtiums, tomato.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you're having such issues with Janet. Understandable but still---it does require patience, a lot of it and always. Just the way it is. I'll remind you hopefully some time in the distant future when you mention that you miss even getting bugged by your mom. BTW, salad looks gorgeous.