It’s so ridiculous,
comes over me suddenly
like a storm.
I want to fight with someone,
shout at them
to give him back.
on the order of
another husband lost.
This morning, our crippled elderly cat would not eat.
In recent years we’ve nursed this 16-year-old through one crisis after another, always watching him rebound to his usual, sweet, attention-demanding self. Now he’s on shots for arthritis and extensive intervertebral disc degeneration.
He gets around with a hind end that stumbles and flops. The vet says the palliative shot keeps him from feeling pain, but I imagine that he is doing more physical damage every time he moves—especially when he…
Old English carian, cearian “be anxious or solicitous; grieve; feel concern or interest,” from Proto-Germanic *karo- “lament,” hence “grief, care” (source also of Old Saxon karon “to lament, to care, to sorrow, complain,” Old High German charon “complain, lament,” Gothic karon “be anxious”), said to be from PIE root *gar- “cry out, call, scream.” —Online Etymology Dictionary
Our hyper-connected media world forces us all to wrestle with an extra layer of emotional suffering: that…
How can a virus travel
and not love?
Or are we not now all infected
at our human nakedness?
We don’t want to know our own evil
so profess good, pretending
to smile without hurting.
The Tiananmen butterfly warns us:
cyclones we’ve stirred with our grasping
While the world shudders.
Introductions: Mom died with Alzheimer’s in 2011. In Fall of 2009, we had moved her from assisted living to skilled nursing due to fall risk and escape seeking. “Howling,” from my blog Walhydra’s Porch on 11/9/2009, tells of our last coherent conversation about death.
Walhydra is one of my storytelling alter-egos: a grouchy old witch unhappily reincarnated as a gay male would-be writer.
When things with Mom…
What happens when much of the human race suddenly loses the safety of sharing physical space? Does this loss go deeper than the pandemic itself? How do we heal from this great social wound?
Most living people have never had to notice how essential the mutual sharing of physical space is—until now.
Worship, school, work, shopping, eating out, going to bars, restaurants, coffeehouses, sporting events, and on, and on. We social animals live and breathe these hours of visceral physical…
Mom longed for the out-of-doors. She had always been a walker, a lover of nature. The constraints and losses of Alzheimer’s didn’t change her longing. If anything, what was most important at the core for her may have been highlighted.
Jim and I learned quickly that we needed to take…
Jim and I sat with Mom for the last couple hours of her life last night.
Before sunrise on Wednesday, I had awoken from a powerful dream, in which the vibrant, out-going Mom whom I haven’t seen in several years was holding everyone’s attention at a party with her three brother and other family and friends.
Later that morning, when I visited her at St. Catherine Labouré Manor, I found her in her recliner in the sunny hallway…