Happy December everyone! I have been away from the blog and the entire transcribing project for a while, but it has never been far from my mind, for two reasons. I’ll get to those later.
First, Babu is fine. To elaborate further, she’s developed eczema over her whole body which we have a hard time trying to exterminate, yet extermination is an absolute must because the itching drives her crazy and she doesn’t get what it is and thinks that “I almost lost my hands…” So we chase patches of scaly skin around her body and try to slather on enough cream and medicine to make her comfortable.
She also forgot who I was about a week ago. It was only for a moment but, suddenly, all these signs I’m constantly on the look out for appeared. No more chiding myself for living in the negative and ruining the good times by waiting for a rain of footwear. Suddenly it was here. Babu is going to start forgetting important things and people. I told my husband about it and after we agreed it was to be expected he said: “Well at least if she can remember the people that take care of her!” It looks like we might not have that choice.
Nothing like that has happened since. This might have simply been a small glitch in the main frame, just a black cat repeating, and as of now I truly think we will be okay for a while. That doesn’t stop me from worrying that it’ll all go down hill the moment I turn my head. Knowing and worrying are two different things.
So this is where we are. We observe her and communicate and deflect her worries the best we can. We keep a look out for things we don’t want to see and constantly adjust. She needs a little more from us every day. We dial that in.
This brings me to the first reason I have had this neglected project on my mind. It’s temporary. I could probably work on this project for the rest of my life, but it’s not the same with out the step of sharing these with her. I can only do that while she is physically and mentally here. I have written plenty of times before about what this time spent with Babu means and some days I look at her and feel the clock ticking loudly. Some days I sit back and say, “Damn girl! Almost 99? You look good!” I constantly wonder about the time line. When will this torture end and the torture of mourning begin?
I’m letting that sink in.
I think that’s the most honest I’ve been and I feel every care taker of an elderly person feels that way. It’s torture because you want to cherish every moment and that can be exhausting. It’s torture because you hate to see them tired and in pain. It’s torture because your life is on hold, too. There is clearly a part of it that is about me. Adam and I are self aware enough to know that there are things we are looking forward to in our “next life,” travel, less responsibility, easy sleep, sleeping in the same bed, going to parties with our friends together with out having to petition congress to grant us coverage for the night, relief from having to constantly be focused, being able to both hold a full time job and take our careers where ever we want them to go.
Mostly, we are looking forward to not dealing with constantly being in crisis, in fear, in heart break and questioning our own judgement calls and their consequences.
We also know we are simply not going to know what to do with ourselves. We are not only not going to know how to handle our grief, but we are also not going to know the structure of our lives, our purpose.
I don’t like knowing there are big problems looming ahead of us and being able to do absolutely nothing to prepare for it.
It feels good to write this. I’ve held back this dam, letting it leak out bit by bit but tip toeing around it. I have a paranoia of what I put out here, judgement from those who don’t understand, somehow retribution if the wrong person read it?
But it’s the truth. Some times I wish this were over. There is never a day I wish this but moments. They flit in and out on days when she’s suffering. They flit in and out on days when I’m sick of scheduling every moment of my life with other complicated lives whenever I just need to leave the house and get something done. It’s there on the days where unsympathetic people add their calloused drama to our bubble of care. There are moments I salivate over the open road, the RV, the life where I make choices about my own moments for me. I’m human.
Those momentary thoughts squeeze in among long moments of gratitude, appreciation, pride, and most of all love. I’m satisfied in my choice to be a part of this. I am proud of my man who chose to step up and never had any choice in how deeply he cared.
So, the update for her is that she is wonderful and she is also aging. The update for me is that I’m in a processing and reflective mood. It’s not a bad mood. I just have been writing fiction full time for Nanowrimo and it feels good to write about myself and my family, which is everything right now. I write to learn, to understand, and to move forward. Thanks for letting me let it all out.
P.S. I can’t wait to post more about 1936 and about Babu’s thoughts on it all! Coming soon!