August 18th, 2011

Hu design

When Anger Shows (Editors)

Well, I'm still resonating to Editors. What can I say?

I received their second album in the mail yesterday. It's reputed to be about as big a downer as any album. Never one to let those sorts of assessments stop me, I find there's something purgative about the way they put certain feelings front and center. At the same time, there's a sense of composure and restraint to what they do, especially in the lyrics. Maybe it's a British thing.

Anyway, today would have been my mother's 75th birthday. I can remember visiting her on her 71st birthday, after it was determined that she would need to have a second surgery to try to remove her brain tumor. She was beginning to give up at that point. I'm not sure if we were all cognizant that that birthday would be her last. She had started falling from seizures a few weeks before. The second surgery made it clear that that had been the beginning of the end. There was steady deterioration after that. (How fitting that the album I'd be listening to now is titled "An End Has a Start.")

As I was driving to physical therapy today (for heel pain), I was thinking about how my mother lived for five and a half years following her diagnosis. I don't know how much time her tumor had been growing prior to that. It's less than four years since she passed. It feels as if both more and less time has passed since then: more because the period of her illness was so long, and dealing with its conclusion and aftermath has been so difficult; less because the images and feelings from that time are still so vivid.

I guess it makes sense that it would take time for me to deal with letting go and moving on in my own way. It was only last September that I managed to visit my mother's grave voluntarily for the first time since her funeral, a few weeks after she would have turned 74. Maybe that explains why I'm feeling this anniversary of her birth more vividly than the others since her death. It's as if some part of the grief process has started to loosen up and move a little more easily.

Another sign that I've been noticing is that, when my partner and I spend time with his mother, who has been ailing on and off since she fell and broke her hip last Christmas, I sometimes become almost unbearably fatigued. My muscles also tighten up noticeably. I just try to remain calm, get rest when I can, and wait for it to pass. I also try to do stretches and/or exercise when I'm ready, so as to try to get back into a better relationship to my body.

This past weekend we visited his mother in the hospital (again). This time she was brought to the emergency room because she had back pain that an orthopedic physician had determined was due to a disc problem. She has since been transferred to a rehabilitation facility, and my partner and his sister are working on having her transition permanently to that facility, as she keeps falling and having other health problems in her apartment, even with nurses and aides visiting her regularly.

Om Krim Kalyai Namaha,