There are human beings in this world that are terrible people. Some I’d suggest do a switch-a-roo with our Mom on 5 West. Dad, hearing my talk of terrible people, offers with a side eye, “And most bad people are politicians, Jod.” Maybe so, Dad. Maybe so. But we digress.
I am going to say the thing I shouldn’t say. Wait for it: I wish someone else’s Mom had Alzheimer’s, Not mine. Not mine, Not mine!!! Stomping my feet, wringing my hands. Giving the finger to whatever amyloid plaque causing devil has dug his pitchfork into what was once our mother, Rosie. Awful of me to put that in the universe, isn’t it? I’ve just created a shit ton of karma for myself.. I am nodding alongside you in agreement on this one. For Sure. But I am ANGRY. Pissed. BeYonD this BullFuckingSHIT disease.
I’d actually rather not hear our father sobbing in the corner of the living room when he thinks he’s all alone. His Catholic guilt getting the best of him, his words, barely audible as they jerk from his mouth. His left hand takes a swipe at the first tear to fall in this round of tears.
“I. Don’t. Know. Maybe I’m paying for my sins,” he reaches to get his white, worn, almost translucent square handkerchief from his back pocket, I realize then that I’ve never realized how similar we cry. His shoulders don’t quite meet his ears, up and down..up and down..like the 3 year-old I become when I ugly cry, but still there is a likeness there–I find oddly comforting.
He bends over more, his left elbow resting on his bandaged knee from surgery yesterday–more of a hunch holding the handkerchief to his eyes pressing them–almost as if he is trying to erase the tears. His lower eyelids reminding me of the organic strawberry jam from Costco we have in the fridge. Like a dull butter knife dressed the inside of his eyes with jam.
Each hug has gotten a bit tighter–almost stepping on each other’s toes in an ongoing dance of sorrow and loss. And anger.
Yesterday, following a call with the doctor…or Aunt Mary Ann.. or the case manager..or the nurse who is trying to figure out how to get Mom to eat, or shower… or one of his many children..I can’t even remember. I know..ironic, right?
I followed him upstairs to help fold the laundry, Mom’s side of the bed vacant. Untouched. Through tears, his left hand trembling as smoothed out the bed, “You get old, you think you have this time with your wife..” Words fall into tears… Then..I just miss her so damn much.”
Me too, Dad. Me too.