Saturday, February 19, 2011


I've just returned from the mountains of western PA, where I spent a couple of days taking care of Mom and sister.  Mom had a bad fall, face-planted in the middle of the night in her bathroom.  Woke up in a pool of her own blood.

All her other hospitalizations and illnesses have happened without her asking me to come to her.  This time she asked.  So I went.

She's so tired of the effort of living.  Everything  is so difficult for her, physically.  She's over it. And discouraged.  When she's aware.

What is it about cities in the mountains that are so depressing?  Especially the old coal-towns.  Everything is so dark, the sky, the building materials, the whole environment is dark.  Even when the sun was shining, everything felt dark.

And what is it about the mountains above and all around me that make me feel so pressed in?  I don't live in a completely flat environment, but it sure seems so once I'm out there.  Here in the central MD region things are more open and gentle, even when there are hills and such.  It's easier to breathe here, I don't feel claustrophobic, things are easier.  I realize now another reason why I like visiting Las Vegas so much - it's the flat and wide-open space.

But my feeling of being oppressed by the environment, while it is physical, is no less real than Mom's feeling of being oppressed by her body, age, and disease.  I have it a lot easier than Mom does.  I can rid myself of the oppression just by coming  home.  Mom can't flee her body.

And all the while, my sister is struggling mightily with her own demons.  It's intolerable to her that Mom is not able to be the young, vibrant, energetic, decisive woman she used to be.  Sister is not prepared nor able to accept this chapter in Mom's life.  More the pity that she is Mom's primary care-giver.  And I can't fix any of it.

Seems like a little bit of oppression all around these days.


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