Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Me, Taking Care

Tomorrow I'm taking my mother for a colonoscopy. This is a routine procedure, usually, although apparently horrible, but it is not so routine if, like my mother, you are 79 years old and have been shitting blood for some seven months. My mother is resolute, impervious, steely and determined to avoid doctors at all costs. That is why we didn't find out about the symptoms until recently. So tomorrow, colonoscopy.

I am worried about it and even more worried about the news it will bring.

I foolishly agreed to go to Rehoboth Beach next week, and now I am realizing that I probably cannot go, which is fine, because honestly I was kind of dreading it (my exhusband AND my exboyfriend AND his new, young, girlfriend will be there, to say nothing of a bunch of screaming kids and some people I have never liked, all in a 4 bedroom house.) Thank god for family though, because I have delegated my daughter to go up if I cannot, and chances are I can't. I almost certainly need to be here.

But somebody has to go up there, or at least to Baltimore, because my son needs to go up to see his father. My son starts high school next year; girls are knocking on the door; he's always out and about with friends and I worry and also, him being vegan is costing me a fucking fortune. He's going through enough peanut butter and orange juice a week to sustain a small country for several years. I worry about my daughter, too, who needs a job and her car fixed and a purpose in her life and I worry about these things, even over and above waking up at 4:00 a.m. and deeply considering the many ways I have failed my children utterly and then moving on from that to worrying about the world ending and what kind of life, I ask you, will my kids have then? They don't have enough leather and spikes for a post apocalyptic existence and Mad Max will eat them alive. I worry.

We're all worried. My brothers are worried about my mother, as I am, and they're asking if she's okay, and I don't have any answers yet. My mother is worried about her horrible little dog, who I hate. He will probably bite me tomorrow when I have to lure him out from under my mother's bed with cheese and then pick him up, eeesh. My mother turned down three or four volunteers today from her neighborhood who offered to take care of him: she told me this proudly. No, the dog is my job, because I'm family, and you should never accept a favor from anyone else. Jesus. Not only is he mean, but he smells horrific. But there's nothing for it. This is what I do.

So, I am taking care. Of creepy Barney, my mother's dog, of my mother, of my son, of my daughter, of my own obnoxious dog, who needs flea treatment and a heartworm test and a bath and a haircut and more walks. I am taking care of even, god help me, my freaked out semi-feral cat, who needs me to wake up at 3 every morning and entertain him. And then I'm taking care, or at least some care, of the bazillion plants around here that turn their little vegetative heads towards me every day and croak "Organic? Fuck organic! Spray us! Water us! Lean over us and sing creepy hippie songs!"

There is just an awful lot of care to be taken. I am moving carefully. I am busy. It's not so bad. But it's messy sometimes, this life and family thing.


Anonymous said...

Wowza. I'll be thinkin' about cha. This craziness can't last forever, i promise.

mygothlaundry said...

Thanks, anon. If it's not one thing, it's another, and lurching from crisis to crisis seems to be just the nature of the beast.

S said...

really well expressed, F - this is damn poignent... you maintain a sense of grace somehow. You're stronger than you think.