Friday, April 4, 2008

Dear Ma ...

Well, here it is April and it’s absolutely pouring outside. Once again, the backyard is beginning to flood, and Jack regularly tracks muddy footprints into the house from the backyard, as Daizy dances spastic little rings around him … always watching, always watching, she is. The mud is one of the things I won’t miss when we leave this place.

As a matter of fact, I want to make a record of the things we’ll miss and the things we won’t miss. So if, like, in another 20 years Leslie and I get impulsive, we’ll have something to look back on instead of finding out, again, in person that this place isn’t for us. Like, we’ll miss Dunkin’ Donuts. I love that place. And all the pasta choices on the shelves. I don’t know whether to cook them or make Christmas ornaments out of them instead. I’ll definitely miss the beef, which is a rainbow of taste compared to California steak. We’ll miss the terrific garbage guys who’ll take anything you leave for them (in California they were so particular … it was a struggle), if not some things you don’t want them to take (true garbage pickers at heart, these guys). We WON’T miss the angry, miserable people or the crazy drivers, or the cost of oil, and the depressed job market. The education system here is inadequate and combined with the mean people, the mean children; it is the equivalent of stomping on a growing garden, our daughter being one of its most vibrant flowers. I’d like to keep her vibrant, thank you. The cons outweigh the pros.

Also of paramount importance is the way Leslie struggles here … I didn’t really understand it until I read up on her Pisces Moon. The website Aquarius Papers said that having a Pisces Moon makes one particularly sensitive to the collective consciousness. Leslie and I have discussed this, and she tells me it’s like wading through sewage. It’s made being here particularly difficult for her. She despises this place. I think that if she didn’t have the dogs following her around, guarding her, loving her, piling up on top of her every moment that she is home, it would be worse. But still, it isn’t good.

Ma has given me such a grand opportunity. She’s given me time to sew up loose ends from the past. Well, not all are sewn up, but many, many are. The ones that weighed on me for years and years – my mother, my brothers, my aunts – Amma gave me the opportunity to dance the dance with them and put my past to rest so it no longer burdens me. The brain space is open and available for new experiences, new lessons. Ma has shown me so much about myself here. I went to her in New York a year ago asking for help with my job search, which she verbally acknowledged (“I will help you with this,” she said, “You need a good job.”) and so she plopped me down on an enormous campus that’s only one exit away from where my grandmother lives. It’s where the Blue Heron stares at me each morning when we drive in. After being gone all winter, the Heron is actually back. We saw him the day before yesterday. Definitely a marker … kicking it up a notch, Ma?

Leaving … sigh. Leaving this state leaves me having to face my feelings. And I would much rather side step them or have it all work out neatly on its own. Yes, that would be nice.

I don’t think it will this time.

We’re only a few weeks away from putting this house up for sale, and despite the soft market, I know that when we put this place up it will go quickly. Leslie has used her magic so it now it looks so beautiful. She uses that Piscean magic, the kind that people just have. She doesn’t even see it as magic. It’s just part of who she is. The house doesn’t like us very much, it never has. But it’s had quite the face lift and is feeling fine. I’m hoping that when we start packing we’ll find the numerous articles that have disappeared, the least of which isn’t the $4,000 heirloom ring that Leslie’s father left her. She put it down somewhere weeks ago, and we’ve not seen it since. The house ate it. We are lightening our load of material things considerably, having learned lessons about big houses and material baggage. Okay, Ma, we got that. Yes, even Leslie, my double Taurus, received that message loud and clear. And Elizabeth is ready to leave her school. Despite the age, and despite her friends, she is ready to move on, our agile little Aries Child. She blows me away. What did she say to me last night? She took my hand and said, “Nana, try to be more patient with me, ok?” I promised her I would.

But what about my grandmother?

What about Thelma, Ma? Who will watch over her when I leave? My mother couldn’t care less and even Edwina seems content to do the minimum. The rest home she’s in is a good one, but it doesn’t even attempt to cater to the emotional needs of its residents. And I’m convinced that it is our presence that makes Thelma’s aides pay closer attention. When we’re gone for more than a few days, Thelma goes back to being in her own world, and things get lax. When we see her, she is attentive, connects with us, wants to talk, eat together, and enjoys us. Who else will be here to make sure her care is appropriate? Who will ensure her transition from the hospital is a smooth one? Who will make sure her pain medicine is administered on time?

Who will take care of my grandmother when I’m gone?!

Don’t tell me … I know the answer already.

I wonder if my presence makes Thelma reluctant to let go. Could this be the case? Of course, it can. And so she remains here suffering because she thinks there is nothing else? Who knows what contract she made entering into this life. This breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that she will be alone again when I am gone, even though I know that I have little to do with her spiritual journey. I know that her lessons are her own, and while our presence here brought her from her personal darkness for a time so she could enjoy her great grand-daughter, my inner voice keeps telling me that perhaps it is time to leave her to her maker.

How can that be?

I feel like I should be here with her, after everything she has done for me. I’m having so much trouble reconciling the guilt I feel with the higher purposes, most of which are muddy. This becomes a matter of trust, I know. Trust in the Divine Mother.

I asked Amma months ago, when I was struggling with the decision to leave, if I was to stay or go. She shortly thereafter made it obvious to me that the needs and well being of my immediate family are more important that my own desires. And even so, more important than my grandmother’s will. And if I’ve learned nothing from my time here with the old girl its’ that when the grim reaper comes knocking, Thelma’s issues are with her daughters, not with me. Maybe my presence keeps them away. Maybe when I leave, they will get closer. I hope so. Because the thought of my grandmother rotting away all alone is truly more than I can bear.

I can’t see the pattern yet.

And so I am left to trust Amma.

I put Amma’s picture up on the wall in Thelma’s room. One of the aids in her room, a Hindu woman, asked me who it was.

Please Ma, ease this pain.

Take care of my grandmother, ok?


Mutha Mae said...

Totally off topic, but so glad we can keep up w/each other now that the forum is closed. Wonder when it will come back? Wonder what happened?

Donna L. Faber said...

HIya Mae ... you know, I have no idea what's happening with Momma Ro's forum. I even asked Dan, of Stank Nasty fame, and got no reply. Maybe she's working, got real tired, and doesn't want to deal with it for a while. Wouldn't be the first time, I bet.

Take care.

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