Everything has been figured out

except how to live–Sartre

Loooong time no write. First a dead mother and a last ever visit with the sister. Then a pandemic. Then a burnout. Then a job change. Then catching a bad Covid.

Then …Bartleby's collagewe lost Bartleby at 18 to kidney disease, cancer and age. He was just getting so weak and lost interest in eating. We were told we would lose him in September 2020 to cancer. But he was not ready to go then. He had an abscess that wouldn’t heal. We cleaned and treated it every day. He always had a little goo going on but that didn’t stop him from sleeping on my arm under the covers. Like he did for most of his 18 years. There wasn’t anyway to prevent the cancer from overtaking him so we decided on making him comfortable. This mean getting him an antibiotic shot every 6 weeks which kept the abscess from getting worse. That worked up until his last week. I’ll always worry I let him go too soon, but his very good days were in the past and I didn’t want him to hurt. My friends got together and sent me a mug with his picture on it. And I love them all the more for it.

12 days later we lost Haru too. She was only 15. She had stomatitis, thyroid issues, kidney disease and as we found out liver problems suddenly.  It seems like she waited until we saw Bartleby off to Biscuitville   (our name for cat afterlife

Haru's collageaccording to young Em)before she began her decline. It happened so fast. One day Haru just lost much interest in food. We already had an appointment for her, but moved it up. She got fluids and appetite meds and we arranged to go in every two days for fluids and reassessing.  And then she really quit eating–even with the meds that have made other cats voracious. James had done an amazing job getting her thyroid under control but the other things came on so fast and so viciously. She would at least take treats. I went to Petco and bought every senior gravy treat I could find to try to tempt her. She would have a little of some of them. Not all the churu, but some.  Unlike Bartleby, who we were with at home, we had to go to the vet for Haru. I hate that, I’d rather let them go where they feel safest and on one of our laps, with all of us there. The boys all made a ring around Bart on the bed as we all held/petted him. I wish we could have had the same for Haru, but we couldn’t let her suffer. The vet said she wouldn’t get better and her eyes were sunken and yellow even with all the fluids. She’d stopped bathing much and at times seemed almost delirious.  She was been J’s steady cow-worker (cause she’s a cow-kitty) since she had her teeth removed because of the stomatitis over a year ago. With him every day, all day. She slept with us at night–though she mostly preferred his head she would spend some time on me as well. I miss our squound angery girl kitty.

God those were the worst two weeks. Hands down utterly, horribly bad. Somewhere in the middle of all that was the second anniversary of the mother’s passing. I’d like to add Fuck her. She was an abusive, cruel and crazy mother who chose me to scapegoat and she got one last swipe in with the will. Like I maintained…all she had to say  was “J is doing fine, I’d like to say I love her and the greater share will go to C because she needs it more.” Which she did and does cause she’s way more of a mess than I’ve ever been. But she couldn’t even do that. J and C sure had everyone fooled though. I was sure they and their friends expected me to show up with horns and a tail.  The thing I will take from all that is the loving kindness of my friends. I have never been so cared for in my life. I was held in their love and care. Still, when I have a rough moment I think of that and know that if I have the love and friendship of these amazing people I really must not be the horrible person the relatives tried to convince me I was.

Did I every mention that I found out the mother was cheating on my Dad with the stepfather? I didn’t know this. Dad never told me. Yuck. Jesus.

Yes. We also got Covid. A bad case for all of us. Yes we distanced. masked and got our shots. Still got it.

And when I went back to the doctor after with a lingering cough, brain fog and fatigue they found a lung nodule in an Xray. Tomorrow I get a chest CT. I’ve had that compartmentalized for the last two weeks. I’m trying to keep it that way until I get the results.

More things have gone on, but the beginning of 2022 has been worse than 2021 or 2020 and I’m not ready to write any more. I miss those kitties so so much.

No Time Like the Present and other Coronovirus Cliches

Well it’s Spring Break in what passes for life right now. That sounds harsher probably than it needs to. Usually for Spring Break we make plans to explore Eugene and the surrounding areas, since we have only lived here four years this Summer.  Em and I will go shopping for …

And then there were two

You can’t be an orphan when you are an adult. But I think you can feel like one. Or continue feeling like one. Now there are just two. Or maybe four or even six? C and I are the only ones left of this initial family. But we’re married to kind men and have the most lovely, wonderful daughters. But Jackie’s children are only two, now.

I don’t know what this means really. She always used to say that one day we would be all that was left? All we had? But that both is and isn’t the case. She has her wonderful girl as I have mine. We both are married. We both have good, dear friends. But I guess this meant blood and that is complicated.

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

I think I’ve been taught to not like my sister. I find much to admire in her. Her perseverance. Her desire to do better for her daughter. Her filial piety. Her ferocity in creating a life for herself. Whether we make it through our mother’s death and the Will, I am hoping for her to know this. Because she has made a life and given her daughter far better than she was given.

Mine honour is my life; both grow in one: Take honour from me, and my life is done

There is much that I could say. There are many words I could use to defend myself, but I have to ask why I would do so? To make myself feel better? That would be soothing, but I would doubt the veracity of that feeling. I’ve been judged without being questioned. I’ve been judged without being considered, and those that are comfortable with that, remain comfortable with that. I have defended myself so often and in so many ways, over the years I find it to be unnecessary now. She has died. Her dislike, her disapproval, her issues with me –they are gone with her. I hope, soon, that I may let this go.

My charity is outrage, life my shame; And in that shame still live my sorrow’s rage!

It will take some time to let this go. I have thought about this for a number of years, but really, nothing prepares you for the loss of a parent. Even one who probably didn’t love you. Oh I know what she told you, but I also know what she showed me and told me. And you don’t have to believe or even know that,because that is how we live with difficult people who are ,also in a way, magical. We accept the stories, the glitter, the silver whisp in the air of surprise–we just wish it would glitter on us, just for a moment. But for some of us, it doesn’t. For some of us, it happens that we cry and cry and cry.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none

I can’t change minds that have decided. I can’t tell you stories that will make what you know jibe with what I know. I can’t convince you to see otherwise than you do. And I won’t try to. You have your experience and I have mine. I just ask that you, for a moment, consider that there might be something to my story. That there might be more information than what you have.

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave//My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less.

It was never good enough, I could never be could never be good enough. I did my very best. You don’t know the full story, do you want to hear it?

However long the night

the dawn will break (African proverb ?) It isn’t all darkness and woe. Yes there is so much and those of us who are heavily empathetic are having a difficult time with the fear, sorrow, anger , racism, and misogyny that some of us (like I am) are somewhat insulated …

Just write

I know the way to be a writer is to write. I’ve told that to students. I used to write every day. Somewhere along the line, survival took over. I was working full time and going to school full time. I lived in a tiny apartment in a kinda bad …

Words Like Daggers

For the first time in a long time, I had to delete a comment from one of my online spaces. I thought about it and wondered if I was being ‘too sensitive.’ * Is being too sensitive an actual thing? Or is this just yet another dismissive characterization for the …

So the Darkness Shall Be the Light

The Winter Solstice is one of my most thoughtful times. I suppose because I spent so much time with darkness. That sounds terribly dramatic–and it was until I found a way to live with it.