Tension, lately. Between the kids a little, between Nels and I – a lot. But right now in the car, it’s the kids. Arguing. It’s sunny out but I feel irritated, heading home after a long day.
Nels can be relentless; Phoenix, ruthless and cruel. After they trade barbs she makes a particularly cutting remark and Nels is (uncharacteristically) silent. Then he says quietly:
“Mom? Do you think Phoenix needs cancelling?”
The tension in the car immediately dissolves; the three older members of the family laugh. It takes Nels a moment to identify what we find funny.
I finally answer, “If you mean ‘counseling’, yes, I think maybe that is something we can try. But if you mean canceling, well that sounds pretty severe!”
Fatigue, fatigue, fatigue. I write my medicine-practicing friend who is, in kindness, treating me via correspondence. I drink homemade bone broth and do light yoga; carefully protecting my left pulled hamstring. I drink water in the quart jar and endure yet another moonshine joke from an acquaintance. Off on errands tonight and our friend from Harbor Rescue comes over to instruct Phoenix on the care of No-No, who has her first injury.
Today Nels and I visited a woman in her eighties who is confined to her assisted-living residence. She is a woman who has given so much of her life in helping others, and now in her advanced age she has few visitors. Even her cat, she chose to leave behind to another family who promptly lost the cat.
It was enjoyable getting to know more about her life; her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But it was also very sad to reflect on someone who’d worked hard their whole life and was now widowed and without the proper care any human being would want. She lives what I would call an Existence, not so much a life.
Sometimes I know I got my life straightened out, and I got sober, so I could be there for my mom when the day comes. I don’t even know if my mom knows I think about this or that I have made this a goal of mine. But I have seen a lot of people who need more help than they’re getting (not all of them disabled by age, either). My mom is pretty competent at this point (although often overwhelmed) but I help her by being a friend to her. Someday she may be less than competent and I’d like her to have the comfort of care, not just a roof over her head and heat and food.
It was a bit melancholy, today. I know I helped the woman I visited in a small way; the only way I can given she and I are not close. On a daily basis I help a lot of people (and animals), mostly in little ways. But then all ways are kind of “little ways”. Because life is fucking hard and there’s a new challenge every day!