Dec 8th, 2009

My Heart is Heavy & Pressed to the Bond

I went to my childhood home on Thanksgiving day, for the annual feast, now held at the Girl Cousin’s home. For twenty years or more, it was my mother’s feast, and the family, and the widows and the orphans all piled in. It went from a sit-down dinner with the good china to a wild and wooly buffet off paper plates. Along with Passover, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Food and family and both in wretched excess.

This year was subdued, as the Girl Cousin’s mom was in the hospital with pneumonia. We took her a plate of all the home-made goodies and she sat up in a chair and teased me and ate everything. Then the sun set, literally, and the dementia came back and the anxiety and anger and the family decided to get her out of hospital and into the local hospice house, until she could be stabilized and sent home.

Only the first part happened. My Auntie Em went to the hospice house and 48 hours later, she was gone. She left this world surrounded by her family, which is exactly how she lived her life. The RLA and I drove home to Miami, switched out the clothes in our suitcase and drove back north for her funeral. There was more to it than that, of course: I had been called for jury duty, we had doctors’ appointments and the stupid cat had to go back to the vet with his chronic weepy ear.*

Back north, funeral, back south, back to work. And now my mother has “issues”. I have a new pack of cigarettes and a full bottle of scotch. More later, I promise. It’s just that I am finding it hard to be amusing these days.

* The vet says that this is medically known as “squishy ear syndrome”. He also says that Ming has a “chronic, pernicious exudate”. I say that needs to be the name of my next imaginary punk band…at least Pernicious Exudate.