It's Sunday and Sunday's are weird and I think of my mother and that's still a strange thing to do. I think of her always as so deeply unhappy although one of my brothers says that she was joyful and I wonder when and how did I miss that? Sure, yes, I can think of moments when she was happy enough I guess, but the underlying denseness of her life seems to me to always be about sadness and depression and outbursts of threatened suicide and I think of the last time I saw her truly alive and how she just kept saying, "I want to die, I want to die, I want to die now," and how when she was doing that crazy sundowner thing in the hospital after she broke her ribs and my brother and I (a different brother) sat with her and tried to calm her and she ordered us to go and get a gun AT A PAWN SHOP (she had thought about this, obviously) and to shoot her with it and when we said, "We can't do that," and I said, "We'd go to jail for the rest of our lives," she said, "I don't care."
It was funny.
It was not funny.
Here's another thing that was not funny and I've talked about this but I am going to talk about it again- when she did die, her worst nightmare came true and she was resuscitated and taken to the hospital because a stupid fucking form wasn't in her chart that the intake person had told me she would make sure was in her chart and it was on the back of her door a few hundred yards away and the damn nurse KNEW Mother didn't want any heroic measures, she knew it, we had discussed it, and she apologized when she called me and had already sent someone to go get that form even though Mother was on her way to the hospital, lines inserted, all sorts of measures being taken to save her life when that was the very last thing she wanted. She had insisted that her DNR orders were with her, physically, when she went to the hospital a month before BECAUSE OF CELLULITIS! And if she did regain consciousness, as the nurse said she did, she had to have been mighty fucking pissed.
Mighty fucking pissed.
We had a little chat with the administrator and the head nurse of the facility and a social worker and another guy after all this happened and that nurse flat out lied or else the nurses under her, the ones on duty when Mother died/was not allowed to die, lied. Lied, lied, lied. And she knew it. She had the notes from the intake person about making sure to get that DNR form from Mother's door in her room and putting it in her chart there at the health center where she was after she came out of the hospital from breaking her ribs. Which that woman (whom I had liked very much) did not do. And we didn't sue them and I didn't make a fuss because who knows? I don't want to be the cause of anyone losing their job. And yet...it was wrong.
Well. Yes. All of that happened and when we got to the hospital, Glen and I, and got to that room where a doctor about the age of Owen was overseeing the code, they stopped immediately. They'd already heard from the assisted living, the fax of the form was on the way and all they needed was my say so to stop it and they didn't know me from Eve, from any crazy woman come off the street to stop the code of an old woman who was obviously supposed to be dead.
I wonder how much pain she suffered. Those heroic efforts can be brutal. Well. They just are.
They sure as shit gave her morphine when I got there. "Air hunger" they cited and whatever. She needed it. I kept thinking of that song, Sister Morphine, by the Rolling Stones, I couldn't help it. Yes, I've said all of this before. I'm saying it again. If I was praying (and I was not), I would have been praying to Sister Morphine to take her out without pain and without fear and I think that's what happened. Maybe. Who the hell can know such a thing?
Oh, that was the craziest night and if I told you every inappropriate thing that happened that night you would either laugh your head off or hang your head and cry. Or both. I wrote it all down that night after everyone else had gone to bed and I don't know if I'll ever read it again, that litany of the list of the last moments and afterwards of my mother's death.
Well. It is Sunday.
I worked in the garden pulling weeds and finished listening to Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot and I am so fucking glad that's over. I think I read his The Virgin Suicides and the fact that I can't quite remember says a lot and I have tried repeatedly to read his Middlesex and I cannot and that's it- I'm done trying. There is something about his prose which leaves me cold and unmoved. Why is he so famous? Anyway, I listened to the whole damn thing through miles of walks and many bouts of dishwashing and laundry and sweeping and weeding and I'm done. I am free of that one. I am not even sure what I didn't like about the book. I think it was the dryness, the lack of any sort of wild. It touched on and buried itself in topics which are anything but tame- sex and mental illness and the relationship between parents and grown children and marriage and Mother Teresa, for god's sake! and yet it didn't touch me at all. It was like life-through-glass.
Or maybe not life (and maybe this is the problem) but like an exact replica of life. A formal garden of artificial flowers which look exactly like real ones. Yes. Like that. Through glass.
So no, I do not recommend it.
When I went to dump the weeds where we dump them, I saw something wriggling in the dirt. I went to investigate and it was a baby mammal of some sort. A possum, most likely. Naked and hairless and blind-eyed, and it was squirming in the dirt and I had no idea what to do but here's the sort of person I am- I am a big believer that nature will have its way. The day you find me picking up something like that and bringing it in to put into a cloth-lined box and trying to feed it drops of warmed milk will be a cold, cold day in hell. I will cross a giant store to find the source of a desperately crying baby to see if there is anything I can do but I will not try to nurture a baby possum. But it was something I did not want to see. It was helplessness at its most naked and primal. It was the opposite of a Jeffrey Eugenides novel.
I went back later and it was gone. Either a hawk got it or the mother figured out it was missing and went back to pick it up. I hope for the latter and that may well be what happened. I didn't notice or hear any hawks today. But, whatever. For all I know its mother was the one who ate my chickens.
Really. Too much nature around here sometimes.
Sundays are just weird.
Anyway, I have showered and washed my hair and braided it in two braids- a child's hairdo- and cut and filed my nails which grow so fast and are so strong these days that it practically takes the dog clippers to deal with them. Mr. Moon is on his way home and some friends from out of town are coming over later and I am thinking of what I could bake to serve them a dessert and all I have are frozen blueberries and some apples and pecans and hell, I'm an old hippie, I can do something with those.
It's Sunday and it's been a day of things occurring which I did not expect to occur and I'm going to stop ranting and rambling now. I'm going to go bake something. Something which may or may not involve nutmeg.
Honeys, life is strange and Sundays are the day when Strange is most likely to burst in the door unannounced, tossing his hat to the floor with a flourish.
Well, that's my experience anyway.