November 30, 2009

It Is Later Than You Think

I had big fantasies about spending the Thanksgiving weekend writing blog posts galore.  In fact, in my planner I wrote, "Blog Posts Galore!"  It didn't happen.  I got too depressed.

My dinner was a fabulous success, at least in my opinion.  The turkey was moist and golden brown.  The gravy was rich and delicious.  The stuffing was flavorful and moist.  The potatoes were moist.  All right, I know, I'm using the word moist too much, but it is an adjective I haven't been able to use to describe a Thanksgiving meal in many years.  Grandma's buns turned out well, as did Other Grandma's pumpkin pie.  And the lemon tart was to die for. 

But I don't want to talk about dying, because poor Faux Ma is doing just that.  Not to make light of the situation, I'm just trying to make sense of my feelings about it all.  You know the saying, If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning?  Faux Ma is turning out to be the latter for me.  I have compassion for her and all, but really, is being terminal any reason to ruin a perfectly good holiday?

The entire day, all three hours of it, was centered around watching Faux Ma writhe in pain.  A shoulder/neck pain.  Bursitis, I think, nothing related to her cancer.  Anyway, she brought along her heating pad for comfort, but it obviously gave her none.  Boyfriend and Faux Pa would just watch her moan, sigh, and shift positions.  No one spoke.  I grew so terribly uncomfortable with the situation I asked her if she'd like to take one of my Vicodin, it would work a miracle.  She said she had already taken one.  Then I said, well then, maybe you'd like a glass of wine with that.  The humor was not appreciated. 

Faux Ma has an expiration date now.  I'm sure that circumstance is a difficult one to deal with.  The trouble I'm having relates to figuring out where I fit in.  On one hand I want to do everything I can to help make this stage of her life comfortable.  On the other hand I want her to quit her whining and resistance.  I want her to be gracious.  I want her to see the fucking light already.  Not that one people see when they're stepping over to the other side, but, you know, "the light."  I want to just tell her get a clue, tick-tock, your life is nearly over and you're still choosing to be the bitter passive-aggressive you've always been?  Doesn't really matter either way as this is a private family matter and I'm basically shut out. 

I guess being on the brink of death doesn't have the same effect on Faux Ma as it had on Scrooge.  Maybe Faux Ma doesn't care that she has indeed become a burden to deal with rather than a dying parent to nurture and soothe. 

Boyfriend has similar feelings to mine, although his feelings don't freak him out as much as mine freak me out.  I'm not used to this sort of thing.  I've seen people close to me die with dignity and grace.  I've seen people with terminal illnesses live their lives with vigor and determination and hope until the very end.  To watch this woman resist help yet complain about not being able to do the things she normally does is annoying to me.  To see she still holds grudges against other family members is perplexing to me.  To know the little voice inside her head is just begging people to pamper her and fall all over her in their grief over her imminent demise pisses me off because the voice I hear coming from her mouth tells me not to bother.

I want to do something even though I'm not truly welcome to.  I want to stay away because, well, frankly being around her is just a downer.  She's that terrible warning, an example of what I don't want to be when I'm dying.  I guess, even in her pitiful physical state and twisted emotional state, Faux Ma is an inspiration to me.  A reminder that just because I'm dying doesn't guarantee love and affection.  A sign that truly as we sow, so shall we reap.

Boyfriend took his parents home after our delicious meal.  When he came back he found me in my comfy chair with a glass of wine beside me as I watched The Brady Bunch reruns on TV.  I spent a good part of the weekend in a state of shock and awe over what happened this Thanksgiving.  I realize I'm thankful for the good people in my life, the ones who support me and love me no matter how big an asshat I can be.  I'm also thankful for those who don't love me so much, for they are the ones who inspire me to be a better person to myself and all those who matter to me.

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