We moved to Chicago when I was seven, so Dad could manage Bible Truth Publishers, and my social circles shifted hugely. No local family other than my siblings and parents, a much larger meeting, and a growing awareness of politics and unspoken rules … still with a lot of love, but the rules had very obviously changed and the stakes were higher.Read More
for a good 20+ years now (no i don't feel old, i feel marinated and rich) i've had a "rotten kid club". it all started with a delicious woman name jackie, who was a grandmother by the time i met her, and as full of warmth and fun as they come. she used rotten as a term of affection to kids of all ages, and told me about a neighborhood boy who came to her home for the first time, and when she didn't call him rotten like the others for fear he'd misunderstand, he felt slighted and left out. so she tucked him under her wing and flew on. jackie was special. rotten herself.Read More
i'm sitting listening to a playlist that i made last night for a friend of mine, and the tears are rolling down my cheeks. the list happens to be for a friend who's in a space where she doesn't want to communicate right now, and i'm scared for what that means for her, and bereft for what it means for me. i hope it hits her even a fraction of how it's hitting me. the history goes deep. she knows bits of me that no one else does, and you don't exactly dig those out and serve them up to someone else. they stay there, for the knowing if not for the sharing, right where i put them. with someone whose viewing point i've relied on for years, for a myriad of reasons.
the tears are mingled, selfishly, with a few for my camera which was stolen out of the car last night. the camera that is pretty much an extension of my right hand, and has helped me tell my stories for the last 3 years. it's changed my viewing point a lot, and is what's helped me tell my stories when the words won't come. which is a lot of the time lately. earlier this week i'd made peace with the fact that this might be a photo blog for awhile, as i really need to get stuff out, even if i can't write.
perhaps i have to find the words, or go crazy.
Do you ever pre-mourn something? Something you know is inevitable, so you start processing the feelings in advance, even though it hasn’t happened? I’ve been doing that the last couple of weeks, for my grandma. She’s 93, in an extended-care facility, and while reasonably healthy she’s slowly losing her mind. I’ve dreamed about her packing her bags to leave, heard reports from my mom that her short-term memory is gone, and am afraid that she won’t know me at all the next time I see her. She very well may be around for a few more years, but she won’t be Grambie to me. She’ll be like her own mother, the one I remember mostly as a frail bird perched on the edge of her bed in a nursing home, spitting cookie-bits across the room when she couldn’t gum them well enough. I never really knew my great-grandmother before she was senile, so there wasn’t a relationship to mourn.
Grambie Rotten Kid Rule and I? I can’t even begin to tell you how much she means to me. I’ve always had her in my life. Babysitting me as a child, making popcorn and letting me listen to Bill Cosby records. Sewing tiny doll clothes, dresses for me, and then finishing anything that I started to sew on my own but inevitably got hung up on. Burying my head in her lap, digging through her bottomless purse during church and sucking on the tiny fruit candies she always had in a tin. Watching her fold her handkerchief into babies in a cradle. Listening to her stories of growing up in Kansas City, about being a tomboy until she had to take on responsibilities too young. Knowing in my heart that I was a lot like her, that the love we share had a special fierceness to it. I’m afraid of that fierceness fading, and not being able to put my head in the lap of the bird she’s becoming. Of being lost to her.
She asked me years ago, when she was about to go into a home and lose her car (which equalled freedom and life to her) for permission to go. Somehow I knew she was going to ask and had prepared myself to give it to her, which I did. Watching her go slowly, fading a bit with each conversation and visit? I didn’t expect that, nor did I realize how it would feel. So I mourn her life before she’s left it, and wonder if this is the year. She’s 93, I’m 39, and I still love her so fiercely it hurts.
we took him in to be put down this morning. to the vet he’d been to a few years ago, and of course hated. the fees were more than expected, and i couldn’t afford to pay the extra $65 to get to hold him while they did it. perhaps that was a blessing, but having him show more fight than he has in days, once he realized where he was, really sucked. having to hand him over, no matter how kind the vet, hurt a lot. the boys said their goodbyes, tho fynn of course really wasn’t sure what was going on. kitty go up in sky? something like that.
it’s going to take awhile to not hear/see a phantom cat in here. thought i heard him jump down the minute i came in the door. had a flash of wondering where he was when i started the vacuum, which always terrified him. thought i saw him slink around the corner in the kitchen. i had him much longer than i’ve been married or had kids, 15 years actually. myrtle and i bought him and his brother at a pet shop i think, and named the pair after a local grocery store/drugstore chain. dominic and osco. osco (on the right above) didn’t live more than a couple of years before a car got him.
he will be missed.
waiting for a pet to die is torture. watching him fade. fall. stumble. emaciate. still having zest, and then suddenly it’s gone and you wonder if it’s mean to not put him down. now. suddenly it went from being kinder to let him die on his own, to torture. for him, and for us. i pray he dies tonight, to let it be over. to stop the things i don’t even want to describe. i want to remember him happy. like he was just a few days ago. wishing the vet were open this afternoon, not willing to make/pay for an emergency visit somewhere, feeling like the trip there would torture him more than the dying is.
i want it to be over. please.