Sunday, December 13, 2009

mother daughter disconnect

I need to complain.
One week out of each month I spend with my 91 year old mother. I take her out and away from her very nice assisted living, and whisk her off to shopping; doctor appointments; out to eat; drives in the city; drives to the beach; drives to look at pretty houses; home to her house to pick up more clothes, hats, scarves, gloves, etc; out for coffee; more shopping and more shopping.

Sounds so nice, doesn't it? And it might be if we weren't related. She has had a good life, despite WWII and the Depression. She has wanted for little. She has had face lifts, spa treatments, travel, the theater, and all the clothes that all the closets in the house could hold. She is cute and feisty and everyone loves her. Me included. But. Still.

She makes lists for me to do. Lists of things to get for her. Lists of things to do for the house. (Calling the termite man is one I won't ignore).
And today, she told me she wants me to write to her from Houston to let her know I'm alive when I'm not here. Oh, yes, forgot to mention. When I come out here for a week at a time, I fly from Houston, 4 hours (plus airport hang around time) and take the shuttle from the airport, another hour if I'm lucky.

I am an artist, so today, when things were pretty intolerable, I imagined narrative drawings of my mother wrapped around my throat cutting off my air and circulation. Strangling me.

So, being the only surviving member of this family and being the good duty bound woman that I am, I now feel guilty.

And I need to go hem her new pajamas.

8 comments:

  1. mmmmmm, good rant! - on a very similar train, but my mother lives five minutes away in her own home, didn't have an easy life and has turned back into the little girl she was over 80 years ago - alas :) so glad I found your blog - I'm such a huge fan.......

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  2. The other night I dreamed that G'Ma had gotten a hold of her car, and a couple of cans of flourescent yellow and pink spray paint. She "decorated" the hubcaps and tires of her car with the paint and drove all the way to Houston. She wanted to be with family I guess. In the dream, we were all very suprised (obviously) and I remember leading her inside etc.. Don't remember much more, just thought it was funny.
    Hang in there Mom, she needs and appreciates you,
    "
    Jason

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  3. Thanks, Jeane, it helps to know I'm in the deep with others... : )

    Thanks, Jason....that's marvelous...I needed that laugh!!!

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  4. You writing is as good as your painting.

    you are the best daughter a mother could have.

    My mother passed away long time ago but is she was still here I would only rant...

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  5. I guess that this is a burden that comes with the territory, Gail. As far as I can see from here, you are an entirely dedicated daughter. No need to feel guilty, ever. But I can sure understand your annoyance. You are earning major points to be comfy in heaven someday. I really believe this!

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  6. Thanks, Irit. I understand. : )

    Thanks, Steve....I'm probably earning points for something....maybe just good karma.

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  7. .great rant and great 'material' for your work...I'd really like to see that painting come to fruition

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  8. Thanks, jaboopee, I've already started some drawings.....you're right, stuff like this is jiving me toward the studio when I get back.

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I am living and painting in the little town of Houston. A far way from my San Francisco beginnings. I paint what I see of the human condition, be it human, animal or object. The glimmer of humor, pathos, and spirit in so much of what I see is the basis of what I paint.

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