“She’s had a rich life…”
I heard that, again, today. “Your mom has had a full, rich life.”
The richness, the wealth, has dwindled to loose change now, maybe a dime, and a few pennies.
Every time a virus hits, even a cold, the fluid in and around her chest compresses her heart and lungs, it leads to heart failure. Her lack of movement, any real movement, then leads to pneumonia. There ain’t much oxygen flowing, this makes it worse, it starves a already dying brain.
Any drug to drain her chest hurts her kidneys, resulting in kidney failure.
The richness of life is forgotten, dulled to moments of abject boredom and sadness. She must feel, daily, the sensation of drowning, slowly…
Each bout with a simple cold results in a measurable loss. My phone rings at 3am, or noon, or 6pm, again…
More pennies taken away…
They always begin the report with, “Mr Lobb, no emergency…”
There is truly no emergency—ever. Not now, not here.
There are no emergencies in this slow, endless march. There are no battles or heroics. Only the slow, deliberate progression of days.
The end, the last day, the last breath is a teasing whore, offering glimpses, maybe a peek—then gone again. The whore never stays.
The robust wealth of life, squandered and spent and leaving only a handful of loose change. After each incident another coin or two is taken away. She never returns to a hundred percent—and last weeks hundred percent is barely a fraction of the life that was.
She gets pissed at me, and I’m happy to see it. It tells me there is still a little of the fire in that mind. The mind that would wake me, as a boy, at two in the morning and say, “get dressed, I’ve packed a bag, we are going to Florida…”
Florida was the promised land. A twenty-some hour drive, accessible even on a long weekend. Ninety miles per hour, top down, whisky bottle under the seat.
I learned to obey the law, whenever practicable, and carefully hide the evidence, from her. From her came some of my piracy.
I wish I’d left her to die in a home Florida, it seemed cruel, but it’s all cruel. The existence is cruel. At least she’d be dying in beloved Florida.
But, Florida or New York, the walls are all beige and antiseptic, and the same. Florida, is only another crumbled construct of a lost mind. Another memory that may or may not be real.
I try to get her to remember a better place. I tell her close her eyes and go there, and be there. I tell her this life is all an illusion anyway, but she gets confused and angry again.
There ain’t many pennies left in the jar, Ma. I wish you’d throw those that remain out the fucking window and let go…