Just when you think yourself as snug as a bug in a hug with, more or less, all questions of ethics and their answers under the belt one sneaks up on you.
Holy cannoli – the noose tightens.
This, drawn to my attention a few minutes ago, is so awful I am in knots.
For sake of argument you have to assume you have more than one child. You find yourself at the mercy of the elements and you can only save ONE of your children. Which one would you save? This is so awful I can barely get my head round it. Naturally, as one does, I cast my eye back to my family of origin. Who would either of my parents of four have saved? I dare say, being quite a bit older than my siblings and therefore stronger, both my mother and my father would have left me to fend for myself. But that still leaves them with three to choose from. I’d rather not pursue this line of thought. It’s unsettling beyond belief. At least that’s tonight’s nightmare guaranteed. Not that members of my family normally play much of a role in my dreams.
Any crutches of your own thoughts on this truly horrendous scenario welcome.
Just because November has gone and I am still alive doesn’t mean the worst is over. It isn’t.
To take my mind off things I phoned my youngest sister yesterday. As I do every Sunday. You may remember that my youngest sister, think Mona Lisa, is the militant in the family. She digs in her heels at the slightest provocation. So, for years, she has broken off all contact to my father. My mother appears to be a write off too. All in the name of my youngest sister being indignant. I try and steer the boat but do not flatter myself that I can avoid her Titanic sinking before my mother snuffs it. It’s awful. Awful, awful, awful. Yes, so it’s awful, and Dog Almighty, me, the older sister, can do shit all to make it better. Rarely have I felt less helpless.
On a lighter note (please do note pun: “Lighter” as in match) my sister reported that three of her four children do smoke. And she found them out. The last bit the bad bit. If you are being found out by my sister your marching orders will be given before you know where your feet, never mind your boots, are.
I tried to convey that whilst good mothers make sure that their children’s grazed knees, bruised egos and whatever, you can make better”,bla bla bla bla, as long as they are little and run to you, there comes a time in life when you have to abdicate (with a heavy heart) and leave those well honed bodies, souls and health to be wrecked at your kids’ leisure – or not. Oddly, my/our mother knew this – instinctively. I moved out from home – one minute to the next, literally – and my mother gave me her blessing. My father went ballistic. He always does. Sometimes I think, don’t tell her, that my youngest sister and my father are so alike they should be locked in a padded room and sort it out between the two of them.
I am sure it’s marvellous to have siblings. Only surpassed by being an only.
On the whole I do find my dreams entertaining. My dreams are stories, often riddles, mostly pointers as to where I need to find my feet in waking life.
However, there is one type of what I call a “half” dream which I find disconcerting. This usually involves other people (mainly the Angel) and their wellbeing. And – please don’t laugh – the phone will ring (in my dream). The phone will ring so convincingly in my dream that I wake and reach for it. During that moment of reaching for it I wake and realize it was “just” a dream.
Bear with me. It’s not remotely amusing. It’s frightening. And I am not easily frightened, if at all.
Tonight, and I write this with my heart as heavy as only a heart can be heavy in the middle of the night, my father “phoned”. It is the call I dread. The call I will not know what to say to my father. He said my name, and then he fell silent. So we stayed silent – it’s not easy to say nothing when on the phone.
And then I woke, the phone wasn’t ringing – and I trust my mother is still alive.
Fear rarely strikes me. Not because I am reckless. I am not. But because there is little to fear.
However. It has been brought to my attention that I tend to repeat myself, and anecdotes. That’s why my mother and I click so well. We can tell each other the same anecdotes over and over and never tire of them.
Yes, it’s Mother’s Day. In England. I don’t like the artificial. For me Mother’s Day is every day the Angel is still in one piece, preferably happy. 364 days round the year.
One Mother’s Day GG (gay guy) sent me a card. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In the end I laughed. It’s safer.
My own mother’s first mother’s day (in the motherland it’s the second Sunday of May) was when I was three. Possibly the first poem I ever learnt, taught to me by Grandmother. So, on my dear sweet mother’s arrival back home there I was, petticoat – hair tamed, a bunch of flowers in little hands, loosely translated :
“Two hands full of flowers, two eyes full of light, a heart full of love, that’s all I can give.”
I have little opinion on anything. Give me a cause and I’ll play devil’s advocate if in the mood. Otherwise I’ll just knock you out by conventional means.
Yes, boxing. ‘Schuesseleffekt’. It’s when your brain wooshes around its bowl, a bit like jelly warming up. How anyone can encourage their son to take up boxing is beyond me. No offence to you, Chuck, should you read this. Your brain seems to have survived remarkably well.
My father who was always good at being blunt about how the real world works explained “Schuesseleffekt” to me. Can’t remember why. I wasn’t in the market for boxing.
Yes, boxing. Insert pregnant pause. Of course, at times we all pummel a cushion. Better than kicking the cat. Or shouting at the dog you don’t have. But boxing? At age five? Yes, Sweetheart, you know who I am addressing. Guns? Driving? Under age? Sexist remarks you make all the the time. Disparaging. Taking suggestive photos of your teenage nieces. Publishing them on the internet? Mother of your son going ballistic when your joint five year old drops his trousers? Only re-enacting what he does experience? Give me a break. Go back to the drawing board.
You can’t have it both ways: Either you enhance testosterone at – possibly too early an age – or you let it rest.
One piece of advice: I know you and your mother don’t see eye to eye. No doubt, in MY eye, HER fault. But do not, and I mean it – and obviously can only go by your blog’s narrative – make both your sons’ mothers into the bogey women. Your sons won’t thank you for it. As good a father as you may be: Little gets between a son and his mother.
When we received the telegram that my grandmother was on her deathbead, her daughter, my mother, consequently threw stuff into suitcases. I asked her [my mother] what to give to my grandmother. My mother (a no nonsense person) told me that the only gift worth giving that which we ourselves do not wish to part from. My mother’s word being my gospel I parted with that which was most dear to me. Not that it saved my grandmother.
I was very lucky. Am very lucky. I had two mothers. My grandmother and my mother. Spoilt? Sure. Depends how you define “spoilt”. It’s been decades – yet still cry over a woman who was everything to me.
There is that Carol I only listen to judiciously, loosely translated as “Christmas, Christmas, I am at home, under my (grand)mother’s tree…” And, as the song goes, I am indeed home on Christmas Eve. Candles.