Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Belated Wednesday Beach Report, News from Pillville, and a Brief Note from the Love Shack

Today, 10 a.m.

There was a little bit of everything at the beach today. A few surfers riding medium waves, almost visible islands, a modest variety of birds, a little drama. 

The drama: As I walked in the surf I saw a small child (I'd guess 4) trekking across the sand far ahead of his mother. The mother trudged about as slowly as a person can trudge, carrying a large beach bag and a beach chair while the kid headed straight for the water. Hi, I said. Hi, he or she said. It's pretty here, isn't it, I said, stepping between the kid and the water. I'd already gotten wet to the waist accidentally, having misjudged the waves twice. The mother was still only about half-way across the sand and the kid looked fearless, inching into the water. Aren't you going to go help your mom, I asked. The kid climbed up the sandy slope and headed her direction as she was closing the gap. I went on, looking back to keep an eye on the situation. On my return the mother was halfway back across the sand again. This time she was going away from the water towards an even smaller child who was now making the trek. The older kid splashed at the edge of the waves, the mom's back to him. Other beachgoers and a fisher woman seemed ill at ease with the situation too. We all hovered at the periphery, underneath it all a low menacing roar of some invisible something. Military aircraft, a dredger in the harbor, construction equipment, something. I couldn't see what.

Life in Pillville is mostly un-bloggable these days. My mom trudges through her days. Eats. Sleeps. Sits on the patio. Chats a bit--often with difficulty. Her body is failing, yet she does not seem to understand the significance of it. There are new physical ailments. Enough said.

Of late, I've found the situation harder than I ever imagined I would. The hospice is giving me a  caregiver respite. My mom will go to a skilled nursing facility. I will go to Indiana to go see the man who, last month, came to see me. I'll meet his family and some friends, spend time, and after a couple days, turn around and get back on a plane, ride the airport shuttle, get a ride to my house from the shuttle stop, and then get in my car to go pick up my mom. It all seems like a love shack fantasy right now, but the washer is spinning, and my suitcase is mostly packed. Tomorrow must go like clockwork if I'm going to catch my plane, but it feels possible. Easy even. Easier than any recent day in Pillville. I'll get up early. Do what I have to do, and ignore the low menacing roar that hums  beneath every day for my mom and me.

My kitchen island lined with documentation for my mom's medicaid application.


lily cedar said...

It's hard work this getting old and dying. Not for the faint of heart. It's awful to watch too, the steady decline. It's heartbreaking really.

Elizabeth said...

You write the tension so well that I am right there with you. I admire you so much, Denise. Safe travels for you both --

Ms. Moon said...

I could not say it better than Elizabeth did.
Some days I hear that low hum, too. I mean, literally.
Go be happy for a few days. Please. For you and for all of those you tend and watch over. Including us.

37paddington said...

So much in this post. It puts my heart squarely on my sleeve. I'm so moved by the community of beach goers, looking out for that child when his weary mother seemed unable to. The child and the mother have no idea that angels encircled them that morning. And yet they did.

And your mom. Oh Denise. This is such a hard passage you're in. I remember when my counter looked just like yours as I filed for medicaid for my aunt. It is a massive undertaking, and by the time you need it, you cannot do it for yourself. I once asked a lawyer, "What do people do who don't have a loved one to do this for them?" He said, "They die sooner."

But you will have a few days with the man. I am always gobsmacked how life just throws everything at once, the desperate and the sublime. Safe travels. Bask in love.