January 04, 2004
The Time Is Now....
I spoke to Mom today. She seems to be ajusting to life at the nursing home. She no longer complains that she is a prisoner of the place... She realizes that she is a prisoner of her own body. That's what Parkinsons does to you... The people at Bel Tooren Villa (ie the facility) are there to try to make you as comfortable and safe as possible.
I'd rather be dead...oh God spare me this...
As she recounts her days in faltering speech that I know will finally be denied her as the disease progresses. I shudder inwardly. We all age at different rates. I know that even with the best of care, we cant slow down the process very much. Yes we are what we eat.. (see post above) and exercise is a huge help. However there are a lot of things that we just don't know about the process and ones genes are a big factor.
I was surprised to hear that my brother, Steve, had been to see her. Steve is not the most demonstrative person, and he is well known for taking the easy way out of most everything, with the exception of his military service as a US Marine (all stand please...) Steve has raised a son more or less to a maturity that I wasn't sure was possible under the circumstances that David was reared in... The boys mother being somewhat unbalanced and immature. David seems to be doing well and Steve...Well I don't know as I have not spoken to him since coming to Hawaii in 2001...Emails go unanswered and the phone is never connected due to unpaid bills.
What he thinks of the situation I do not know... I know that its got to bother him.
My mother favored Steve above me... She acknowledges this now, when she didn't before I left for Hawaii. Steve almost always got the best of everything and only in cases when my being a female and eldest allowed me certain priviledges, did I get first choice in anything. It left me bitter and really until I became a Believer did that bitterness fade at all. Woody would be incensed when the many things I would do for her would be some how depreciated in light of Steve showing up for some minor detail. I know that Steve never understood, as was true for most of my family, the incredible suffering that I went through in 1995-1998 with my illness and my continued recovery today. No one in my family understands that to facilitate that recovery I needed to get out of polluted, stress filled LA, and Hawaii was the best choice for relocation. I also needed to be free of pain filled memories, and people that never understood me and make my own life... Remake myself in a way... and this was the way....
That meant leaving Mom when I knew she was going to need me everyday. I couldn't have withstood it, and feel ashamed at my weakness and lack of familial loyalty now. The depth of my commitment is a weekly phone call. I don't have the funds for a visit even and fear going back to the poisonous air and over chlorinated water and all of the unknown allergens that made my life a living hell.
I am a coward...
As we were talking, Mom mentioned that she had a wonderful Christmas. Friends came by and brought her a burger lunch that she loved and a little gift. I called... and later, Steve came by..."and as he left he told me that he loved me... Imagine that..." Mom said...I know how she feels... I wish that Woody would break down and say that to me once in a while too. We shouldnt let this go on...
I remebered a poem that I saw in Dear Abbey a number of years ago. I went to my journals, and found it in volume 27 Jan 1998 to july 1998...I am going to write and request that she reprint this again as it is so good. At the time we were doing a lot of traveling and stuff and people said "wait till you retire and can enjoy it" People didnt want to deal with the fact that I could be dying...This was prior to 9-11 and all that means... We are all dying a bit everyday and we should never procrastinate in doing what is good and right today...
THE TIME IS NOW authour unknown
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow
Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I'm gone
And then have it chiseled into marble,
Sweet words on ice cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me
Please tell me now.
If you wait until I am sleeping
Never to awaken,
There will be death between us,
And I won't hear you then.
So, if you love me , even a little bit,
Let me know it while I am living
So I can treasure it.
Wise words... dont wait...tomorrow may be too late
later.... I went to put the clipping back into the journal page that I had removed it from, and read the entry. It froze me and sent me spinning back in time...It was the day in March 1998 that my dear friend Gail Gonzales died of a massive heart attack at age 49 leaving a pastor husband whom she had been with since they were teenagers, and a young son that they had adopted, who had never spent a day out of his mother's care. Dave was remmarried less than a year later to another friend of mine... Its been nearly 5 years and the pain is still fresh... Gail I miss you still...see you in heaven....