There’s been little change and mostly in the wrong direction. When I
left my mother was still in a coma and completely ventilator dependent.
The prognosis from the doctors is a few more days of that at the
outside. Those few days seem especially valuable to me in only this
sense: they are allowing Bud time to make the most gradual shifts in
his heart and his mind to a new reality. Watching that has been the
most painful thing I have ever witnessed and perhaps someday I will
find words to describe the minute changes in his expression, in his
eyes, in his posture as he stands holding the handrail of her bed.
So, a year ago this date, I was waiting for my mother to die and that link will take you to the rest of my entry for March 6, 2006. These past few days I’ve been going through the motions of life, waiting for some thought, any thought, worth uttering or tapping, to come to mind. Nothing there folks.
But life, of course, plows ahead anyway so here’s what I’ve been up to, make of it what you will.
I finally got the taxes and all of the paperwork necessary to live an organized financial life off my desk and mailed to the appropriate people. I’m not sure why that was such a monumentally arduous task, other than the obvious stuff about moves and businesses closing and houses sold and bought. We’ve had all of our accounts under the umbrella of a bank in Michigan and we needed to move those to a bank that had offices in two different states and included financial planning. We’re those people (just like you) who haven’t done any estate planning or wills or found old life insurance policies or thought more than fleetingly and with a nod to euthanasia about where we’ll be rocking when we’re 94- or who will be writing the checks to pay for that nonsense. So now, everything is done. 13 accounts closed (hey! We each had businesses, separate, joint, savings, retirement, checking, blah,blah, blah), consolidated and 5 opened. Plus the kid’s accounts. All of this paper work was enough to remind me that I am not yet up to the task of going to social security to change my name and handle the months of bureaucratic fallout from that. Like T. S. Eliot and cats, I figure I have a REAL name that has not been revealed to me yet anyway.
See how mind numbing this crap is?
I worked at the shelter, went to yoga and went on a garden club tour of the Sunken Gardens last week. From the 1930s to the year Disney opened up in Orlando, Sunken Gardens was the biggest roadside attraction in Florida. What kind of genius buys a 4 acre sink hole, dumps a bunch of palms and ferns into it and waits for it to turn into a gold mine? In the course of it’s illustrious history it also housed "The World’s Largest Gift Shop" and the King of Kings Wax Museum. Those are no longer there, which is probably just as well, although I would have liked seeing them maybe once.The gardens are really something, now that the city has purchased them. They are members of the National Association of Botanical Gardens, on the U.S. National Register of Historical Places and home to my yoga class- so I didn’t really need to take the garden club tour but I wanted to grill the head horticulturist/tour guide about some of the plants and whether they would work in my little yard right down the block. I sure wish I had a 10 foot tall tree fern over here.
Then I flew back to Chicago and took some more zoo tests. I’ve got those polar bears down cold, plus the big cats and the bird house; next time I’ll be holding the microphone at the seal pool. Chicago was busy celebrating yet another Monday holiday- it was Kazimierz Pulaski day. I don’t know why they don’t just close the whole darn city every Monday and give the postal workers a paid excuse to not deliver the mail. Anyway, it meant that lots of parents and children were out in the cold, blustery sun, visiting the animals. I was spreading knowledge in the big cat house, using the Amur Tiger skull as a visual aide. You probably call him the Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) so that’s your new bit of knowledge for the day: there’s been a name change. Get with the program. The Amur Tiger is the largest of the big cats, averaging 500 pounds and they are critically endangered. Captive breeding may be the only hope for this spectacular beast. The zoo has a breeding pair and that’s very special indeed- to have a male and female of the right age and genetic stock- so we’re hoping she will be pregnant soon. In the world of zoos that would be highly newsworthy. Our female was in active estrus when I was there this past week but apparently, together, they haven’t quite figured out how to, ah, use the long form. She’s not getting the bottom-line. They’re not making their holdings grow. Not filing jointly.
Oh, wait. I was talking about the zoo, not taxes. Anyway, there were lots of children around and, in particular, one very sweet little girl, about four and quite dressed up for a day at the zoo with her daddy. I was sort of squatting down at her level and she was admiring the teeth on the skull. I said that tigers needed big teeth like those to help them when they were hunting for food. I asked her if she knew what tigers ate and she guessed, "Childrens?" I said, no and she wondered, "Grown-ups?" and I said oh, no and went on to explain what they ate in the wild. She asked me, "Why don’t they eat people?" and I was sort of at a loss so I said, well, they really don’t live in the same places as people in the wild and she said, matter-of-factly, "there are people here." I said, well, NO, they don’t eat people here and they didn’t even have to hunt here because we feed them…and before I could say meat, she exclaimed, "broccoli!" Right. We feed them lots and lots of broccoli. I’m sure her father is still telling people how she flummoxed the lady at the zoo.
Then I flew back here to Florida and today I took a long nap and I also thought about what kind of food I want to cook for Bud when he comes this weekend. While I was away some of my orchids that I have hanging in the tree and on the fence right by our little patio and big porch started blooming.
That’s it. Oh. And there’s a big spot growing ala the Shroud of Turin on the lower left hand side of my computer screen. I can only see it in certain light conditions and it’s quite pale so I haven’t figured out if it’s a special sign of something yet. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime I leave you with a fun little link I found over at Michelle’s. What’s for lunch? And when you’re done punching in your zipcode, try Bud’s (49950) and you’ll have some vague idea of just how far away Lost Loon Lodge is from here, there and everywhere.