Yesterday, my sister (half-sister in fact) told me that my stepmother, 95, was expected to die either yesterday or today. When I asked who had made such a determination -- which reminded me of day-certain predictions about a yet-to-be-born baby -- she said it was based on some sort of hospice 'modeling.' Perhaps such modeling (read best-guess) is calculated to give caregivers some hope: My sister is bearing a lot of weight as her mother declines: So many interests confront my sister and I am of little or no use ... which makes me aware of fragilities. Death would be, in one sense, a relief.
A 10-minute-or-less trip to the convenience store was a positive adventure for me, yesterday. And remaking the bed after washing sheets and T-shirts ... a definite break required. No way would I be anything other than a weight if I attached myself to my stepmother's care-giving retinue... traveled 100 miles, talked, shuffled about. Tiring. So I cannot help my sister, who is my favorite relative ... not to mention that insistent male gene announcing that men are the ones who fix things that need fixing. Fixing is beyond me, though remembering 'fixing' is bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed. Fragile. I hate having to ask others to do what some part of me insists I should be doing ... relieving my sister, holding my stepmother's hand ... whatever.
In another diaphanous veil of fragility, my wife headed for New Jersey today. Her brother is scheduled for heart surgery today and ... well, it's another sign of changing times, time passing, change.
When I step back a little, I realize that my whining is really very small potatoes compared with the fragilities of others who may be displaced or hungry or suffering the loss of hunks of what once was called "family." Or vast physical ailments. Mine is a whining from within a well-heeled arena ... and yet I whine. Each passing day arrives with a smaller and smaller list of things I want to accomplish only to find myself subtracting aspects of the plan as the day advances.
Today I hope to get in a shower that has been displaced over the last few days.
Itch and scratch. Itch and scratch.