Monthly Archives: June 2008

No Way Out

Met with the social worker today that is keeping track of my mom’s progression into memory loss. She acknowledged to me that it is “most likely” Alzheimers due to the fact that it has progressively gotten worse over the last two years. However, my mom is highly functioning, very bright, and works her mind constantly (reading, x-word puzzles, etc.), so she’ll probably be mostly okay for years to come. That sounds great, but really I just want my mom back. All other options are undesirable to me. I want MY MOTHER, not this very nice but confused woman who asks the same questions and tells the same stories again and again. I can love that woman, but that’s not my mom.

She knows very clearly what is going on in business and politics right now, but she can’t accurately remember old events, conversations, plans for the future, and personal things anymore. It’s a pity I have almost zero interest in business, and we already agree politically on most topics. We both operate on the “if you don’t have something nice to say, it’s better not to say anything at all” system, so we don’t discuss faith, religion, her decline, etc. She minimizes and I bite my tongue or grit my teeth. I can tell by the set of my jaw and the tension in my legs and my stomach that I’m holding everything inside.  Hopefully the levee doesn’t break.

Soooo, I’m depressed today, and, for me, the only way out is through. Therefore, I’m going to be depressed today and tonight and hope that tomorrow is a cheerier day. Thank you for your well wishes, thank you very much.


Misty Water-Colored Memories

I was a Girl Scout as a kid. I sold cookies, attended camps, learned useful things, and made good (albeit temporary) friends. My favorite part of the camping was always the singing, and I have lots of kind of funny, largely disgusting songs from those days still tucked away in my mind.  (Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts for one.)  When I was at home, my mom and I would sing together a lot, usually songs from musicals or campfire songs. Songs with rounds and harmonies. She had a beautiful voice (to me).  She also sang with her mom and sisters when she was younger. (I say had, not has, only because her voice is not young and strong and clear anymore.)

One of my favorite memories with my mom:
My mom taught me a song that I don’t remember singing in the Girl Scouts, but trying to find it online came up with Girl Scout camp songs over and over.  So, maybe it is. Or, maybe it’s just a a “camp song” / old folk song, as it is song in three-part rounds, somewhat like “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore”. Anyway, here it is. This proves that children’s favorite memories don’t need to be of doing something special and unusual with their parents, it’s the interaction that is important, not the event.

My mom and I were doing the laundry together. I was approximately 10. She was teaching me how to open the door, quickly pull a couple of items out and then close and start it again, to keep wrinkles from forming. We would each make a quick grab before the door closed. While we were doing this in tandem for quite some time, she started to sing this song to me, then when i got the words and tune down, she sang in rounds with me, coming in at the break between verses. It’s a beautiful, haunting lullaby, and I have sung it to myself for many years now. I imagine that her sisters know it too, and possibly my cousins, though they are boys, no girl scouts in that group. Anyway, here it is:

Bed is too small for my tiredness,
Give me a hill topped with trees, (i have seen this online as “hilltop” and “hill topped” now, but I prefer the two word version.)
Tuck a cloud up under my chin,
Lord, blow the moon out please.

Rock me to sleep in a cradle of dreams,
Sing me a lullaby of leaves,
Tuck a cloud up under my chin,
Lord, blow the moon out please.

I don’t know enough about music to say what kind of a tune it is, other than to say that the notes are unusual, full of half notes and minor keys, yet it is easy to sing, as any camp song must be easy.

I just asked my sister-in-law if she knew the song and she didn’t (she’s a campgrounds person from way back), but she said that my “she (my mom) was recently writing music from her head onto blank sheet music to then play on the piano, so she might know what it was.”
My mother, who can’t remember what we just talked about 10 minutes ago, can write music from her head onto blank sheet music to play on the piano.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I’m doing both.

 


If you could only be remembered with one word, what word would it be?

Beloved.


Things are better

For my friends that were worried, things are better now.


Life Goes On

2 days later, I’m being spoken to again.
Not that he feels talkative towards me, but “life goes on I guess”.
Gee. Don’t hurt yourself.

I don’t feel much talkative towards him either frankly.
I don’t foresee an apology,
I foresee the expectation of an apology from me.
(Speaking of unrealistic expectations…)
Uh, yeah… that ain’t happening.

I can apologize for losing my temper and getting mildly hysterical. I could possibly have stayed calm.
I can apologize for yelling and for cussing, because I’m not proud of that.
But I will not apologize for who I am!
I will not apologize for not living up to his expectations.
I gave up my expectations years ago because he was NEVER going to live up to them.

I am not supposed to bring up his past behavior because he has changed.
Because he’s apologized for being a jerk and I’ve forgiven him.
Ok sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s now fair for him to judge me because I downgraded my own behavior to mesh with his previous behavior.

Ex-smoker syndrome.  Angry ex-smoker syndrome.
“i’m not a jerk slacker anymore, so you can’t sit around.”
…. wait, what?

Happy 6th Anniversary to me.


Never Good Enough

That’s me. I should change my name: Ms. Never Good Enough.

You’ll note that the possible variations include Ms. Never Enough and Ms. Enough,
but never ever Ms. Good Enough.

Why am I never good enough? I don’t know, maybe you can tell me.

  1. Other people’s unrealistic expectations? maybe.
  2. My effort never reaching my ability to fulfill reasonable expectations? maybe.
  3. An actual lack of ability to fulfill reasonable expectations? maybe.

Daily I am judged and found wanting. Daily I am condemned for my lack of consistency. If I put forth my very best effort one day, then every other day I should be able to also put forth that same consistent effort.

Dear reader, what does this teach us? Never excel. Be mediocre in all things. You will be judged daily, and therefore must never stand out as exceptional, for that will become the new judgement criteria. Never allow yourself to care.

Also, never stand up for yourself, never fight back, never justify, never complain. Because, if you feel that way about being judged and found wanting, you might as well leave and go somewhere else. Leave everything behind and start new somewhere else.  Find someone new to judge you and find you wanting. There will always be someone more than happy to take on that role.

You will have to leave part of your heart behind, but I’m pretty sure they are growing new organs nowadays in labs. Just sign up for your nifty new heart now, get on that waiting list, there is probably going to be a run on them. God knows we break each others hearts enough to warrant a vast and urgent need for them.

Just remember for next time…  Don’t try. Don’t give your heart away. Don’t think for yourself. Don’t care.

Yours truly, Ms. Never G. Enough