More daylight at dinner time enhances the conversation between my mother and me. "I think I see a light on in the 3rd floor condo across the way," becomes 'Look at that dog!" or "Don't you think that girl should be wearing a jacket?" Soon there will be hummingbirds and more boats going out, more joggers, more babies in strollers. It's probably just enough to keep both of us from going insane.
Simple observations in the moment are much easier than discussing what's gone on in a day. My mom asks a lot of questions about current goings on that she doesn't remember getting answers to. And I either don't correct her at all, or I simply answer the question as if she's asking it for the first time--M is taking the plane, not the train to New York. Our houseguests left yesterday, not today--I do get to feeling a bit looney myself. Wait? Did they leave today? Or sad. As the tide lapped into the marina last night, my tears began rising too.
I walked after dinner for the first time in a a couple of months. It seems a workable compromise if I walk around and around the block. When I get to the marina side where the sidewalk passes by the patios of all the houses, I can look in and see my mother tidying the kitchen or standing at the end of the kitchen island reading the newspaper on the iPad. If she disappears, I stop walking and go inside. Last evening, the fresh air and the water was enough to settle me and bring me back to realizing things are really working out pretty well here in Pillville.
Still, Friday evenings are the hardest. I think we all have these rhythms. Tide in. Tide out. If I am going to wake worrying, it's always between 3:00 and 3:30. I am almost never grumpy or pessimistic in the morning. At 4:p.m. I would like all the cake in the world. To myself. Go away. Or bring me coffee--then go away. I am incredibly thankful, however, that Friday nights are not as hard as they used to be. I'm pretty sure I would not have survived without my dogs.
But, as always, Friday nights turn into Saturday mornings. And they pretty much always look like this here in Margaritaville.
My mother has had four or five good days in a row--outside of some tiredness, she hasn't had any severe pain or nausea. For the last couple of nights, she's stayed awake and engaged all through dinner without the narcoleptic moments that can come on so quickly it's as if someone has exchanged the salt for slumber dust.
And it's almost springtime. I have the urge to clean things. I took up the very dirty carpet squares in front of the couch. I bought some new pillows and a pouf at the Cost Plus sale. Orange! Orange! More daylight! Orange! I am drunk with light and color. Drunk on the beauty of Margaritaville, sans the Margarita. Which is kind of a miracle.