Saturday, November 3, 2007

November 5, 2007 letter

Here's a picture of Mom, taken in June.

Although she put up a brave front recently, making it through a tornado all by herself, Mom has told us she doesn't feel safe being alone in her house. She has also had a continuing slow decline in her ability to get around, even with her handy new wheeled walker. She has told Liz and Tim that she thinks she'd like to go back to TenderCare, where she got so much good care and attention, and made friends.

I talked to Mom for a long time about how she feels about this, knowing how much she loves our old house, filled with so many fun and lively memories, and how hard she fought to be able to come back to it after her original hospitalization. She says she doesn't feel bad. She told me, "I couldn't have had a better life if I had dreamed it," and that she's ready to let some young family take over that dream. She seems to be feeling peaceful about it, although I'm sure she'll have teary moments as the time grows nearer. Tim and Liz are working on getting her back into nursing care. In the meantime, Chris and Tim are spending nights with her, Brenda is helping her, and Liz is dropping by in the mornings and evenings and handling a lot of the paperwork.

Once again, it seems God has given me the great gift of NOT finding me a job, so I have time to take care of this more important one. In order to legally receive unemployment benefits I actually have to be in New York, ready and able to accept a job at any moment, so I will have to go off benefits for a few weeks. That will be difficult. Too bad I'm not the heir of any wealthy, near-death relatives who nobody likes. Perhaps I should start buying lottery tickets? Sigh.

We drove to Maryland last weekend to see Robert's sister Cindy, and to do what we can to help her as she deals with her new widowhood. It has been a rough trip for her. Cindy's daughter Sarah was there, helping her mom figure out her financial situation and providing emotional support. They have planned a lovely-sounding memorial service for Bill, on the 17th. We'll be driving down for that, of course. We also spent time with Robert's mother, Muffy, who seems much more frail to me now. I guess this is the time in our lives when we have to deal with death and illness of parents and spouses and the like. It's just very tough, and there's no way around it.

Our friend Paul visited from the city this weekend. It was overcast and blah-looking outdoors. Paul and Robert went for a long walk and talked books and politics while I spent most of Saturday on a shopping venture. I was looking for things we need for the cat shelter's annual goods and services auction. It's this next Saturday, and I am co-chair. Paul left early Sunday morning. It is always good to visit with him.

Robert and I have been invited to a special party next week, celebrating our friend Ruth's 50th birthday. She is the secretary at Robert's firm who is also a naturopathic doctor. It's going to be a fancy dinner on a big boat that goes around Manhatten at night. Ruth has done many thoughtful things for us and has been a very good friend through tough times, so I had a special birthday peresent in mind for her. I asked Robert to buy it on the Internet for Ruth, but he discovered it can only be purchased directly, in Germany, and in one little shop in Connecticut. Like the incredibly prudent people we are, we decided to try Connecticut first.

After such a drab Saturday, our drive on Sunday was glorious! The sky was bright blue and the hillsides all orange and gold and red. We drove along curving, country roads, past red barns and yellow fields that are criss-crossed with the ancient gray stone fences that are everywhere around here. It was as if we were driving through postcards of New England--we even went through an antique covered bridge! We saw red hawks, a gorgeous ring-necked pheasant and a (sadly, dead) fox--even the animals we saw were in fall colors! We got to Kent, Connecticut, and spent a couple hours discovering art galleries and bookstores. We also discovered that the shop no longer carried the item we were looking for. Dang! So we bought something else. (Sorry, Ruth. You have to wait until your birthday party to find out what it is.)

I was looking forward very much to seeing my friend Bonnie when she was in New York City, but I didn't hear from her in time to make a plan. When she did call, I was busy assisting an electrician who had come to our house to figure out why our fridge outlet stopped working. I was also sick as a dog that day and hoped Bonnie and I would be able to make another plan. It didn't happen. Poop.

Other bits of news of note: My pal Starr Toth, from the mystery writing group I attended when I lived in Detroit, entered an on-line contest for best first chapters, and won second place. But someone from Simon and Schuster read her submission and offered her a contract! I am so pleased! Starr is a really good writer, and perhaps her success will get me off my butt and back to writing things other than this blog! Other good news was an e-mail from a college pal, Ziyad Sha'ar, now living in Lebanon. It's been fun playing catch-up.

Ah well, I must get busy now with my unceasing job hunt and grocery shopping! Write soon!


Babette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Babette said...

Merde, indeed!

This photo of your dear mum brought back a vivid memory of visiting your home while we were in high school, Franny. Your household was so lively and interesting! I think I may have modeled my mothering style after her, though I do not have her innate graciousness.


Anonymous said...

This is the time in our lives when the love and attention that our parents showered on us a lil babes is returned. Both of my parents have been gone for some time now and must admit it feels quite strange. SO to have your mum still about is a dear dear blessing indeed. It is also good that she still wants her independance. So good to still be in touch and I do hope your fridge is up and running. We have a mystery leak to track today. Oh the joys of being mortgaged! Be well and my best to you. Will visit by again real soon.
SunnyPal Al.