Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Parent's Day

Sometimes, life takes you on certain journeys for which you didn't buy a ticket or pack your bags.

My mother is in hospice and my dad fell and broke his hip and has been in a rehabilitation facility for over a month.

My parents, whom have been married for over five decades, had to separate so my father could receive treatment.

I think my mom is clinging on to life because she wants to say "see you on the other side" to dad even though she can't walk or open her eyes or barely speak. He's making a good recovery, but he cries because he wants to be next to his wife.

It's heartbreaking to witness all this even though it's part of life.

When you get that old, succumb to dementia and Alzheimer's over the age of 80, does it really matter anymore what happened in the past when you can't even remember what happened five minutes ago? Does it really matter if the relationship had its dysfunctional moments?

You see, I don't like to use negative language anymore, but as my blog slogan says, I "tell it like it is."

My parents weren't perfect, but in the eyes of G-d, they are. Who is anyone to judge? So what if they made mistakes. They are only human.

They chose each other. And they loved each other with great passion. They still do. And I understand now more than ever why they also fought. Because they couldn't stand to be without each other, no matter what disagreements, behaviors, decisions -- whatever it was -- rocked their boat.

Passion and commitment is a curious thing.  I wasn't even on this mortal coil when they got married -- I was somewhere in the ether waiting for my mommy and daddy to make me -- but I'm sure they probably said the vows.

For better or worse until death do they part; however, honestly -- I don't think even death will separate these two wonderful oddballs who are my parents.

So today isn't really mother's day exclusively. It's a day to honor all parents, regardless of gender. And a day to honor myself, because I've been a parent to my parents.

If you take care of anyone or anything, you are a parent.


Sex and the Beach will be on hiatus for the time being while I deal with all these end of life issues.

The image you see above is my grandmother's writing. She was an amazing calligrapher.

Well, thanks to growing up in the age of the internet, I can type in the dark but my writing looks like chicken scratch.

I may have inherited the writing gene from her.  She copied poems and wrote racy, passionate ones of her own, which was absolutely naughty in early twentieth century Cuba and I very much admire her courage to "tell it like it is," although her book was shared only with friends whom she trusted.  It was actually a common practice in those days to share writing in leather bound books.  Think of it like a proto-blog.

I never really connected with my maternal grandmother.  She went back to the light when I was just a little baby. And my paternal grandmother passed away when my dad was just a toddler.

In my heart, I still meditate on my grandmothers and all the amazing women who gave me my mitochondrial DNA.

Here's a line from a story I published in a literary anthology a few years ago:

"Women connected by an invisible umbilical chord through blood, flesh, time, and the indifference of centuries; separated by boundaries of clocks, exiles, tribes, and the differences among days."

I leave you with that thought.

And wish me luck ... and a good laugh.  Lord knows I need it.  Only good things from now on ...