Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Rapture Can't Come Soon Enough For Me

Look. Owen is not a baby anymore. He is a boy.
There is a reason that the Tarzan books have had such incredibly long-lived popularity. It's because when a baby reaches a certain age, the primate takes over and all that baby needs to survive is someone to keep her or him alive. His mama, his daddy, his Aunty Chimpanzee or Uncle Gorilla.
I swear to you.

We shouldn't worry so damn much.

Today Owen, with the help of his mother and grandfather climbed a tree:

And then he pointed to the ground and said, "Snake!" And he was right. Right there where all of us adults had been walking and standing, there was indeed, a snake.

I looked it up on the internet and it was a garter snake. Harmless.
I can't believe I never saw a garter snake before but that's the truth.
Lily and Bop caught it up and put in the woods and let it go.

And then Owen fell out of a lower branch and I caught him by the leg and his forehead and nose grazed the ground but he was fine.

What a day. I made soup. I mopped the floors. I changed the sheets on the bed. Mr. Moon weeded in the garden.

Tomorrow I start to deal with my mother.
I'm scared, y'all. I don't know how to do that. There are big numbers when it comes to money and assisted living. There are things like furniture and I don't want one thing because everything she owns reaches out and grabs me with a bad memory. From pots to furniture to knives to necklaces.
And I was raised by her to make her be okay and I can't do that in this case. She doesn't want to move out of her little house. She doesn't want to have to admit after a long life of dreading just this very thing that she isn't able to think clearly or take care of herself or pay her bills or cook her own food or, or, or....

My brother has figured out a few things she can take with her. One of her most favorite pieces of furniture is a desk that belonged to her daddy. And this is what I remember about it:

When I was five, my mother fled in the middle of the night with me and my baby brother. Her pastor at the Chattanooga Presbyterian Church helped her and she forgot my blankie and we went and stayed with my grandparents in Roseland, Florida and by the time she got to Florida, she had terrible pneumonia and my brother and I were left in the care of my deaf grandmother and it was so scary. So awful. And I missed my father so much and eventually, my mother was finally out of the hospital and she got a letter testifying from my paternal grandfather and uncle and members of my father's AA group that he was all better and that we could come home and be a family again.

And when we got back, our house was father-ransacked. The house was torn up from one end to the other and there were quarts and quarts of sour milk in the refrigerator and my daddy had taken something sharp and slashed all the furniture including the front of that desk.

Oh hell no. I don't want that desk. Or anything else.

But in the next few weeks, I have to decide what to do with it. And everything else. And take care of my mother.

And live my life.

I would rather deal with snakes. And yes, this boy.

Who is not a baby anymore.

"Mer-Mer," he says and I pick him up. This is so easy compared to history, to memories.

I am so scared, y'all. I don't know if I can do this.

But what choice do I have?
None at all.

Here we go.
And isn't he beautiful, that boy? That monkey boy? I am his chimpanzee grandmother. I catch him by the leg as he tumbles from a tree. He sees the snakes and warns us.

He is not a baby. And I am not either. Time to grow up.

I am so scared.


  1. We'll be here for you -- virtually and emotionally -- to tell you that it will be hard but you can do it and then it will be over.

  2. I watched my Mom go through this, making these same impossible choices, and what I gleaned was that there is no right or easy answer, but there IS the best that you can do answer, and whatever that is, if you do it, you will be OK with it in the end. I love that you caught Owen right before he hit the ground. You will be caught as well. xoxox

  3. Mary, my dear....
    Yes, yes, I have been there and I, too, was scared shitless and I said, "I don't think I can do this", and then I saw I had no choice so I drew my protective inner garments tight around my innards and did it screaming inside all the while.

    You will do it and you will will not be easy nor painless (oy vey, no) but somehow you will do it and it will be done.

    Once the worst is over it is mostly clear sailing afterward......with just some ouchy bumps.

    Good luck, darling.

  4. I am scared too. I'd rather deal with the garter snake than stand up and public-speak for the rest of the week but off I go.

    And on we grow.

    Here for you.

  5. Oh, Ms. Moon - it is so totally okay to be scared. It's scary. Sending you blanketing waves of love and support and courage.

    (And p.s. - thought you might enjoy that my verification word is "brasick")

  6. Mama Mama. This made me think of how right before giving birth, most every woman says, "I don't think I can do this" and in your case, you did it four times. I know you are strong, you have confirmed this to the world many, many times before.

    I know this is such a tough situation, and I am sad that Granny has to go with the loss of memory and mind, furniture and independence, but that is how it is I guess.

    I will be home next week to help. I sure do love you and my beautiful family. I miss that ape-boy that we call Owen. I am so proud of him for seeing that NAKE.

  7. Wow, that boy looks like he's having the time of his life. This time he got to be taller than even Bop. :)

    The garter snakes in FL definitely look like they grow bigger than here in MN...but I don't know how any cold-blooded creature could live here to begin with.

    As for your mom, I'm giving you a big virtual hug and telling you I'm there with you. I haven't shared much about my dad since his stroke, but the dementia is there and it's just plain hard. He doesn't want to be where he is either but the choices are limited. And of course what he wants isn't possible.
    Love and hugs to you.

  8. Mary...I am so sorry I am so behind on the blog reading. It has been a dark road for over a week here with s splash of "sun" but my heart and head are a bit muddled. My mom too has not been good.

    I must go back and read what has been going on with you...

    I am with you, holding your hand, even if you can not see me. I know your anguish, I know your fear...remember this...

    Your little boy, so handsome and strong..he is not a baby and he has become observant and protective of his family! Joy flows freely with your day together...

  9. It's normal to be scared. I mean, of course you're scared. But you know you can do it. You just know it. You're a love warrior, following in the footsteps of many love warriors -- you are not the first, nor will you be the last to do such difficult work. And we're here, too, for whatever that's worth. We're here, open-eared and hearted, ready to take notes and cover your back --

  10. Jessie, my midwife told me she learned from the Aborigines that you have to surrender to death, essentially, before you can give birth, and that 'I can't do this' moment is vital, because til you hit that place, you're not ready to give it up and go for it. 'I can't do it, I'd rather die' means you're ready to get there :)

    Mary, this sucks, but I suppose it's part of the cycle. Like Lo says, gird your loins, intestinal fortitude. You have all these people round you to have your back, too. Lots of love x

  11. Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful photos of Owen. Good luck Ms. Moon, I always feel grateful when doing thing I really don't want to, to have those other things nearby that are a much more pleasant distraction. Owen seems to have that job under control!

  12. Hey,

    I'm happy to do this with you if you want me to. I'm pretty good with that generation as I was a late in life child... seriously, I can be a buffer/mediator/distractor whatever you need. AND I honestly don't mind a bit. Not a bit bit bit!

    Call me.

    That boy is such a darling monkey! And yes, it's cute... and soon he will be launching himself off the back of your couch towards the coffee table... I promise it's coming. Might as well go ahead and move that table now. :-)

  13. Owen is such a darling boy! Not a baby, but as you said yesterday, always a child.

    I'll be thinking of you as you do the things you need to do for your mother.

  14. this stage of life where we have to secure our elders is a hard hard thing even in the best of circumstances. but we take one step at a time and we do it and one of the reasons we do it is that we hope that one day someone will do the same for us. but it is hard hon. i know. i am sending huge love to you.

  15. Life is SCARY. That's for sure.

    And Owen is SMART. That is also for sure. Snake is a really good word to learn early.

    I love you. Everything will be fine. I know it will. Just breathe and take it a day at a damn time. That's all you can do sometimes.


  16. Stephanie- I know and that's what keeps me going. Thanks.

    Maggie May- That gave my heart some peace. Thank you.

    Lo- I know. You are precious. I cherish your words.

    SJ- I'll public-speak for you if you'll go through my mother's closets for me.

    Amna- Brasick. Perfect.

    HoneyLuna- Oh, my darling girl. Thank you for the reminder that I am stronger than I think. I hope that perhaps you can take back some of your granny's things that she will not be needing. She would give you anything and you can use some things. That would be so good.
    I love you so.

    Mel's Way- Sometimes it just makes you wonder, doesn't it? How weird and hard this life can be.
    Yeah. That seemed like a pretty big snake to me. But I'm almost positive that it's a garter snake. Very pretty markings. I'm sorry about your father.

    Ellen- I know you know. I feel that. Thank you.

    Elizabeth- YOU are the love-warrior. I am the coward who stays back at the house and tends the fire. But I'll try. I adore you.

    Jo- Good things to remember. Yes.

    Amber Elise- Oh yes, he certainly does.

    Petit Fleur- Thank-you. I will call you. I'm sure I'll need the help.

    Lora- Bless you, darling.

    Angella- I so wish that none of us ever needed such help but such wishing is fruitless, isn't it?

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- As I said over at your place, bitch gotta do what bitch gotta do.
    You are so loved.

  17. I have done this for my mother. She was in the hospital with depression. I moved her into assisted living. Let her take with her the favorite things that she wants. Those that no one else wants can be sold at auction. I am sorry that this is so hard. I dread what will happen when I am old.

  18. I like reading how you move forward into your life like a train. I love it. I have no plans for my mother. She has tons of money and friends to care for her if and when she can no longer live in that terrible house. For me well if I get to that point I'm taking myself out. I've already told my son. And not leaving any bills behind.

    Owen makes me so damned happy.

  19. Syd- I know that other people have done it, will do it, are doing it. It just doesn't seem like I'm as capable as other people though. I know I must be but it sure doesn't seem like it.
    And I, too, fear when my time comes.

    Madame King- Yeah. A train or a giant wild hog, crashing through the palmetto bushes making too much noise for such a small journey. GAWD!
    My mother always said she'd take herself out too. I think I'd like to do that too. But when the time comes, what if we're not capable due to whatever?
    None of bears thinking about very much, really. Although how do we help it?

  20. Madame King- P.S. Owen makes me so damn happy too. He's like a little machine of happiness. A little monkey of light.

  21. So sorry that this responsibility has fallen on you. Maybe the Rapture will come and take her. I hope I get left behind.

  22. Well, I think you don't need to grow up. We are always our mother's daughters no matter how old we get. I am learning that painful lesson right now.
    Can you come to some sort of peace with this? Sell the furniture and donate part of the money to a woman's charity?

    PS - Whatever happened to the goat?

  23. I see this so often, Ms. Moon, mothers that did the best they could for their children's sake, but not quite enough. Becoming a primary caregiver is not an easy task. Particularly when there are so many issues unresolved. Don't forget about you in all this. The child in you shouldn't go through heartache so many times.

  24. Oh my word, Owen aged a year in the last month! He does look like a boy. Sounds like he's getting the right tutelage from Bop too. Tree-climbing is an important skill.

    I'll be thinking of you as you face the demons to deal with your mother's situation. There are few things harder than facing down the past. I'm glad you've got Mr. Moon. Keep us updated on how you are.

  25. Love seeing the O-Boy up in the tree. He is one lucky monkeyshine to have you as a Gorilla G'ma to catch him when he fell.

    Hang in there with the mother transition. We know you will handle it well. Friends and loved ones will come to your aid, in the real world and here as well.

    Love and hugs. N2

  26. Lucy- My mother is not particularly religious so I doubt she'd get raptured either. We KNOW I won't.

    Birdie- First off, that goat is just fine. Thank you for asking! And yes, with Mr. Moon taking charge of all the really hard, legal things, I believe we'll get my mother moved, get things dealt with and move on to the next phase of life. The changing tide times are the worst, aren't they?

    Angie- Well, you know, I think I've had more good fortune and happiness that is really my share so it's hard to complain about the heartaches. You give good advice. I thank you, you very, very sweet woman.

    Kathleen Scott- I will. I will keep you posted, as you KNOW! And Mr. Moon is always my lifesaver.

    N2- Isn't he something? Soon your Corn Tiger will be climbing trees. It all happens so quickly. I am already nostalgic for Baby Owen.

  27. oh gosh, that memory Mary, my goodness. It ached me to the core to read that. And that was BEFORE your gd step dad. Sheesh.

  28. Dearest Mary, you're much stronger than you think. You can do it. Love you very much xx

  29. Ms. Moon, I'm sending you lots of love. I don't know what to say other than I'm thinking of you and I love you.

    Please don't be too hard on yourself. This is all so hard, so many things coming at you at the same time. You're allowed to do it in an imperfect, human way. x

  30. I'll hold your hand if you hold mine.


    I'll hold yours anyway.

  31. Bethany- Yeah. My life sucked until I grew up. It did. But it's okay, dear love.

    Christina- I hope you're right, sweet one.

    Mwa- I needed to read those words this morning. Thank-you.

    deb- I'll hold tight to yours.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.