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March 17, 2016: Up and Down

I’ve recently been writing about the future up-related events in my life. I’ve focused on these events, well knowing that in the not so distant future that there are going some tough times ahead. The pendulum that’s swung so far to the left is now swinging back to the right. I know that if I let go that I’ll fall into a timeless abyss. Well so be it. I am just going to have to deal. My Aunt Peggy once sent me a birthday card that said “now that you’ve arrive, you’ll need to find a parking spot.” She died long before I was old enough to truly appreciate her wit. In this case, her statement was most apropos. We think we will have things figured out at a given moment in time, but really, we do not know this for sure.

I have known for some time that I’ll be going back east in June to dispense of my father and brother’s ashes and to begin the process of parting out his much-loved book collection. My love of books and reading was something that he passed on to me, and was a more than a passing interest. I very much want to keep his collection in tact, but I suspect that the best I’ll be able to do is to part out books in groupings, by various authors. As for his extensive children’s book collation – I will move heaven and earth in an attempt to keep this collection together. I would like to have it but won’t be able to afford it.

And too, my mother has been on a slow decline physically now for some time. Last night my sister called. She said that my mother was taken to the hospital – she has pneumonia – she won’t be around much longer. My mother was a heavy cigarette smoker until 15 or so years ago – I recently saw some cigarette smoke charred sheep lungs in anatomy class – I thought – holy shit – my mother’s lungs must look like that. I now can’t imagine how she could handle having pneumonia. It just is not possible to have lungs that damaged and manage to live on. As El said, she hopes that my mother does not suffer –her inability to walk is an indicator that the quality of her life is gradually going downhill. I will when the time comes, head to Portland, and as best I can, I’ll support my sister This will be no easier than assisting my father’s wife in dealing with my Dad’s possessions.

We were a family divided by parental acrimony. Neither my mother nor my father hid their feelings about one another from my sister and me. In fact, my mother was so consumed by this that she had little positive energy available when it came to dealing with two smart and energetic daughters. Nevertheless, she did do right by us. I am damaged goods, but the box is still intact.

I miss my father something awful – I often think of things I want to tell him and realize that he’s gone for good. I’m glad that his death was sudden and that he didn’t have to go through what my mother is going through. I hate to say it, but I am like him. I’d rather avoid death completely or go around it sideways. But I am soon going to have to deal with it head on. I presumed that my parents would always be around to take care of me. I learned when I was in college that they would not take care of me – I was on my own. Now I’m learning that they won’t always be around.

I’m dealing. I knew all this was coming and this was why I opted to take the internal martial arts classes. It has already helped me. There is the physical aspect – I’m far more supple than I was previously. And there is the mental aspect – I’m far more flexible than I was previously. So I’ll get through the next few months and figure out how to deal with the spoils of loss. I can do this. This is all that I have to say right now about this subject.

Next: 76. 3/18/16: Requiem for a Very Old Pickup Truck

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