March 3, 2010

What am I going to talk about with my mom?

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Would I regret it if I didn’t fly out to California and see my mom?

Probably.

I started this post, popped over to check flights, found one, and bought it.  I’m going to be heading out to my hometown of Visalia, CA from March 19 to the 23rd.  Ron asked me if that was long enough.  I told him that I was concerned it might be too long.

I find it mind boggling when people talk about hanging out.  I think, “Hanging out and doing what?”  There must be a reason other than to simply be in each other’s company.

See, I’m not much of a ‘visitor’.  It’s not in my skill set.  I get in, get to the point and get out.  I get antsy when dancing around the purpose or lingering after it’s accomplished.  My mom is the same way.  I’m downright chatty and relaxed compared to her.  Now that her dementia is advancing, the conversation train is even more sidetracked.

Say it’s her birthday or Christmas or something.  I’ll call.  Eventually.  The conversation will last no more than 5 minutes and I won’t be the one to cut it off.  She used to just hang up when she was done talking.  Now, most of the time, she indicates that she’s about to.

My mom is a character.  My strongest memories of her are all about books.  I don’t think she’s able to read much anymore.  That’s one of the frustrating things about loosing your mind — being unable to track the progression that you need to follow in order to get from cover to cover.

She used to read a lot of philosophy and psychology.  Neitzsche, Gibran, Kant, Freud, Jung… seeking enlightenment.  She also read a lot of mysteries.  Maybe it was nice to see someone figure it out in the end.  Now she reads the papers.  Plural.  My mom’s the kind of woman who would write a letter to the editor defending Gary Trudeau — which she did.  I believe her letter included the phrase, “… sacred cows must be put out to pasture.”

I wonder what we’ll talk about now.  I’ll have 3 days.  Not long enough to actually do anything other than visit.

I’d better bring a book.

Significantly,

Susan Scot Fry

Update…

Well, I got a healthy dose of perspective last night.  My sister was in a car accident and for chunks of time I either didn’t know where she was or didn’t know whether her injuries were life threatening.  By the way, that’s the definition of fucked in case you were wondering.

She lives in Oregon and I live in Wisconsin.  So, I couldn’t just get in the car and drive to wherever she was.  Is.  She’s still in the hospital this morning and her injuries are severe, but she’s not going to die.

It occurred to me this morning.  Why don’t I apply the same lessons I’ve learned with the life I created to the family I left?  Yes, family is different.  They have a unique power, especially moms.  But a good lesson is still a good lesson.  Which one am I referring to?

You go.

Ideally, this is more often applied to happy times — weddings, birthdays, bonfires…   Sometimes, it’s passages — funerals, staff meetings…   I wanted to go see my sister.  Something happened and I wanted to go, but I couldn’t.

That’s why it’s important to go see my mom.  It’s another special occasion.  The special occasion is called life.

I should bring a party dress. I feel like celebrating.

Significantly,

Susan Scot Fry

2 thoughts on “March 3, 2010”

  1. Would she enjoy books on CD? It would be worth a shot
    to try one. Good luck, and enjoy your mom while you
    still have her!

    1. Thanks for the idea, Jeanne.

      I suspect that if the book on CD is more than about 15 minutes long, it would still be frustrating. Her reading comprehension is still good (oddly enough). It’s her retention. We can have the same conversation 5 times in a 10 minute talk.

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