Mere weeks away

According to my flight itinerary, we’re just 47 days out.

We are go for launch…for most part.   But my mother’s ability to go is in question.    She has degenerative rotator cups.   Not unusual for an 88 year old rotator cups, but a painful reality for the woman they’re attached to.   At first, Mother thought it was fibromyalgia.

There’s a slightly invasive procedure that would be performed on both arms at the same time, on an out patient basis, but it would result in the temporary immobilization of her arms.  Both would be in slings.  I’d have her move her in with me and one or both of my sisters would come help with her incapacitation.

I want my mother to go on the trip.   She wants to go, despite knowing she’d be in pain.   She’d be willing to postpone the procedure until after the trip.    She can have cortisone shots in each shoulder.    They’re painful, but can stave off pain for a few weeks.     She she might be willing to do that.

I know I’ll be depressed if she doesn’t go.  We were all aware of the fact that at her age, this would be here very last vacation and had various things planned, such as a belated birthday celebration including some five-star surprises in one of her favorite cities Europe.

*

I know I’ll get “the phone call” someday.   The one that alters life as I knew it.  She’s fallen before, tripped over something.    I’ve already found her twice on the floor, drenched in her own sick and dangerously close to the kind of dehydration from which a woman her age doesn’t recover.   She refuses to wear her life alert button necklace.    It is bulky she says and affects the neckline of all her blouses.

It doesnt.

She’s deaf, but refuses to wear her hearing aid.    It’s uncomfortable.   Do I’d having to shout things out to her.

She’s stubborn as a mule, even in the midst of an “episode” in which she’s convinced I once went by the name of Jan, and lived with another family in Utah.

I didn’t.

She’s been cruel, has torpedoed my success on more occasions than I can count and has been the subject matter of almost every psychiatric session since my teenage years.   I stayed away for years.

So you see, I can’t  deny the fact that my mother has been the bane of my existence.  We’ve had a tumultuous relationship for most of my 59-years on this big, blue marble.   There have been fights,  caustic disagreements, and we’re both equally guilty saying of  nasty things to each other, things that were etched in pain and left psychic scars.   So, when that happens, we employ  “The Kendrick”, a classic move of letting a few weeks go by with no contact.    Then, when we reconnect, nothing is ever said about the spat again.  The wound might still be open and oozing, but it’s the most non-emotional way of starting the process of healing, as unhealthy as that might be.   It’s not my personal method of conflict resolution; it doesn’t work in the real world, but it’s the only one we’re willing to try within the confines of my taxonomic family.

I’ve often said that she was never the kind of mother a woman  like me should have had.   I was never the daughter a woman like her should ever have mothered.

I willfully accept my contributions to our dysfunction.

*

This coming July fourth will mark the eleventh anniversary of my best friend Walter’s death.    He was HIV+ for years and died of full blown AIDS a mere nine days after he was diagnosed.   In the weeks before as his body was succumbing to fatal pneumocystis pneumonia,   I was in such denial.     He would call to tell me he felt like hell, but I cavalierly told him to take a few aspirin, maybe even a shot or two of tequila and I’d talk to him later.

I hated myself for that and vowed to never do that again, but damned if I don’t find myself trying to talk my mother out of  the pain and fear associated with 88 year old body shut down.      I do allow her to talk about her fatigue and even question herself as to how much longer she wants to stay alive, but I still find myself trying to down play her aches and pains.

Why do I do it?   What’s the motivation behind my denial?     Selfishness.

I’m taking her to get an MRI tomorrow.      She has a cardiac consult in a few days.    Her EKG indicates stress minor on her heart.   I’m hoping it’s the result of living with chronic pain.

If she doesn’t go to Europe with us, I’ll be depressed.   When she chooses to leave us for the last time, I’ll be devastated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.  wants to go and  go.   I know I’ll be depressed if she doesn’t go.  We were all aware of the fact that atbher age, this would be here very last vacation and had various things planned, such as a belated birthday celebration including some five-star surprises in one of her favorite cities Europe.

My mother has all too often been the bane of my existence.  We’ve had a tumultuous relationship for most of my 59-years on this big, blue marble.   There have been fights,   caustic disagreements, and we’re both equally guilty of  nasty things that were etched in pain and left psychic scars.   So, when that happens, we employ  “The Kendrick”, a classic move of letting a few weeks go by with no contact.    Then, when we reconnect, nothing is ever said about the spat again.  The wound might still be open and oozing, but it’s the most non-emotional way of starting the process of healing, as unhealthy as that might be.   It’s not my personal method of conflict resolution; it doesn’t work in the real world, but it’s the only one we’re willing to try within the confines of my taxonomic family.

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