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April 2, 2016: Death, Looking at it Sideways

Buffalo Bill’s
who used to
ride a water-smooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

The above poem by e.e. cummings – I have thought about it a lot lately, and in particular the last few lines. It is as though the speaker is taunting death, asking perhaps if death wants to take on Buffalo Bill, a very charismatic guy. Of course we all know that there is no escaping death who will in the end (as always) win the duel.

Right before leaving for Portland, I wrote about my looking at death sideways and how I hoped to never, ever confront it head on. I am now thinking, phew, I may have scooted around it once again. This was not my doing. Or maybe I scared death off. Death always gets its way, but it might now happen on my watch.

Mother’s doing better. She’s lucid, can engage in conversation, and we think she soon will be well enough to sit up. However, she still can’t feed herself, walk, and is still in diapers. However, she seems to be happy, she’s loved and cared for and knows it. She will in time die, but seems to be thinking that now is not her time.

I have decided to head home on Friday. I finally got up the courage to suggest to El that this would be the day. This is because we both know that should I leave, and should things go awry, she will have to deal, and deal alone with given situations. And, she might be alone with my mother if she does take a turn for the worst and die. Neither of us wants that for her.

El feeds her, makes sure that mother gets the right meds in a timely fashion, and that she’s turned in a timely fashion. My secondary role has become increasingly more secondary as time has passed – and I am okay with this.

There is also the looming specter of Uncle Bob. A very odd dynamic emerged early on and has now solidified. He clings to El the way my mother used to, leaving me the odd one out. History repeats itself – my mother standing in the train station in Vancouver, BC, finally asking me where Eleanor might be. And Uncle Bob standing in front of Pacifica memory car center, asking me where Eleanor might be. To both I said, what am I? Chopped liver? Only to be met with a look of scorn.

I’m being polite to him, but I feel duplicitous. Eleanor says he might leave her money, hopefully enough to pay off her mortgage so that she can retire early. I don’t think that he’s going to leave me enough money to even purchase a bale of hay. El isn’t at all being duplicitous – if she is, then she has me fooled big time. Strange dude – he even said to me that he will leave after me – and that El will be able to tend to my mother without me. So now I want to leave after him.

I can’t be here indefinitely. Pete’s at home, still teaching and taking care of all our animals. This is not fair to him. I of course have mixed feelings about leaving here. For now I have to put them out of mind and just continue to deal.

Next: 90. 4/3/16: Depressed as all Getout

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