Blogging is bad for me. I tend to avoid all my other writing, rather enjoying the short attention span format of the blog. I’d hoped for more – more stories, perhaps a workshop or two, attention to a novel of mine…not happening. Not sure why. Perhaps the blog feeds into my laziness. Perhaps I’m not a writer and never will be. Perhaps I should stick to what I do best…which is…
My grandmother fell a few weeks ago, resulting in a brief stay at a convalescent hospital. Her age showed – all 88 years. She told me during one of my visits there, “The food is delicious.” I knew then that things were much worse for her than I was willing to accept because food at a hospital is never “delicious.” When she got home and we were sitting in her den, she said to me, “You know your mother moved very high up in the police department,” a completely erroneous statement. She insisted she was talking about my mother. She said several times, “Your mother did that.” I finally corrected her, telling her that she wasn’t talking about my mother but about her sister and she said, “Oh that’s right.” I visited her again yesterday, after a week of avoiding her, and as she directed me to a couple of sardine cans for lunch, she told me, “Your brother ate a whole can of smoked oysters – you know, at your house. Your mother and father only let us have one oyster, but B, he ate a whole can!” More folding of time and place in that she was referring to something that took place in the 1970’s, when my brother, sister and I were kids.
The incidents have shaken me. I’m reminded of my mother’s neurological illness that killed her, I’m reminded that once again I am at the end of a life and I don’t know this person’s history, this loved one’s past – I don’t know the details, the technicalities. I haven’t learned everything there is to know and because of that I will never be able to pass on to my children their own history. I’m again left with the frustrating question of, “What is this all about?” All that energy a person gives, all their thoughts, their words, their worries…what is it all for and where the hell does all of it go?
I’m not ready for her to start slipping away – I’d hoped for the transition to be smoother, less traumatic, I’m not sure it will be. As always, I find myself grabbing hold of the relationship with a kind of desperation, fear. I’m sunk with worry and that worry spreads elsewhere, coloring my vision of everything around me, focusing all my attention to the negative and away from the positive.
The positive sits just beyond me, tapping her foot and crossing her arms...indignant…the perfect weather, sitting on the patio with my book in my lap while M plays with her Barbie dolls in the pools, the feel of her sweet, wet cheeks against mine when she comes to me, to show me the leaf she fished out of the pool. Summer fruits – the berries, the cherries, the peaches, the nectarines, watermelon, and the plums. The sense of no obligation to anyone. The “rest of the summer.” A late dinner on the patio. A bike ride after dinner at dusk, near eight o’clock. The idea of a trip to the mountains, a museum, the Aquarium, a boat tour to Catalina Island, a July 4 extravaganza, new books on my nightstand. A late night movie with D because the babysitter’s home from college and she’s got the kids. Walking across a parking lot at midnight and not needing a sweater.
The positive…the possibility, the plans for summer, enjoying a breeze that cools the room, a breeze that only lasts a moment or two.