It’s been a typically long while since I last posted. Someone left me a little nudge in my comments section and the light went on. The magic one that appears above my head in my more animated moments.
See, it’s a weird thing with we cancer bloggers that if you don’t post for some chunk of time, people begin to worry. It’s a strange kinship. But it’s also a very good thing. It’s an experience unlike any other that I have had. I have become part of a secret club that nobody would ever wish to join, but now that we are here so we do our best to help each other and keep an eye on each other and share information about treatment and surviving in general. And in many cases we could pass on the street and not know each other. But, I am deeply affected by the good things and the bad things that happen in the lives of these folks and I suspect others have the same experience.
It’s strange, but a very good sort of strange and I am awfully glad that folks are out there, doing those things.
I’m also glad for my local face to face comrades. We all share something and, not to be all Sesame Street about it, but the sharing is good.
So, how’ve I been?
You know, I really couldn’t say. Which isn’t a very helpful response because you’d think me, of all people, ought to be able to at least fudge an answer.
But I think my mom’s death sort of hip checked me into some new and different frame of mind. It’s difficult to describe and mostly I am still trying to figure it out.
Some wee snippets of it are things like…. at Christmas this year, I had this small but constant sadness that I would never get a Christmas present from my mom ever again. Now, the reality is, my mom hasn’t been able to participate in Christmas for about 5 years. And I was not someone who believed she would ever have a miracle recovery from Alzheimers and we would all slide back to happier times. But it was the absolute finality of it that kept nipping at me.
And it wasn’t about needing or wanting some more stuff. It was a sense of missing how my mom used to put a lot of care and attention into the presents, and the wrapping itself was a work of art.
When my dad had to step up and take over that detail there was a marked change in the whole deal.
My dad, who has non Alzheimer’s related memory problems in that he just plain spaces things out, would send us each a smoke detector, some wrenches and a few screwdrivers all with their Canadian Tire price tag still on it. Often there would also be a one pound can of beer. Like I said, memory problems.
And I don’t mean to take away from the things my dad did. Because they are sweet in the way he tried so hard to do this thing, a thing he had never done before and here he was, an all grown up man, having to learn how to do the Christmas shopping for his grown kids. And are there any people more difficult to shop for than your adult relatives?
But I digress.
I tried pretty hard to do the ‘it’s just another day’ version of Christmas this year. But on the inside, it was a pretty introspective time. Which is okay. There are far worse ways of spending Christmas than being introspective, and I am guessing at least a few people reading this had them. It’s a tough time for lots of people. This year was tough, but not as tough as I had expected.
Okay, so Christmas is over.
It seems the current plan in family-land is to sell my parents’ home, though I guess I should say ‘my dad’s home’, but right now, I don’t feel like it.
And that creates another strange set of emotions. My dad is now enjoying all the mod-cons of a care facility and no longer needs a house. It all makes sense. So the siblings, and myself if I can squeeze in the time between work and school, will go to that wretched town and empty out my parents’ home and then it will be sold.
Now bearing in mind that this house is not one I have ever lived in myself. And that I hate hate hate the town my dad lives in. I still have this eerie feeling that there will no longer be that home base, that spot you can always sneak back to if the spit hits the spam in your life. The old safety net.
Given that I have never really used it as a safety net, it’s not so much of a loss in real terms. It was some strange under-utilized form of stability so, I suppose I should go create its replacement, though I don’t have a clue what that will mean or what it will look like.
That’s about it for now. Things are different. Still strange, still difficult more often that I would wish for (but who can’t say that?) but in a calm sort of way.
And to leave this on a trashy pop culture up-beat note, I am currently smitten, in a movie-star smitten sort of way, with Helena Bonham Carter. I watched the 5th Harry Potter movie one day last week and saw Sweeney Todd the next. Helena Bonham Carter does evil so good.