Now That I'm Forty...

Born in New York and now going to die in New York. Someday.

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Now That I'm Forty...

Weblog Commenting by Listed on Blogwise
Monday, May 10, 2004

I was going to blog yesterday, but I thought I'd be too maudlin. I was going to start out by saying that I was setting out to make some of you cry. But yesterday, I didn't cry my own self, so why should I attempt to trump up the boo-hoo?

Here's the facts; my mother died in 1992 of cancer. That'd be twelve years ago. I was 27 years old. It wasn't until then that I realized how immature I was. 27 is young to lose a parent, your primary parent, no doubt. But I should have known how to budget and pay bills by 27, no? People are married with children by 27 in some parts of the country. My Friend The Doctor is a prime example of what you can maximize at 27. (He and wife have no kids, but they had the house and mega thousands in the bank, and now, doctorate). Instead I went traipsing out to Missouri to be loved and adored by churches and become a gospel singing superstar. Too immature to realize that people might be laying their sins down at the altar, but they are picking them back up when they go to their pew.

I was going to write my mother a letter yesterday, via blog. I was going to tell her that I understood what she tried to do with me. I was going to tell her that I walked along Morningside Park yesterday and thought fiercely of her as I navigated through all the neighborhood mothers dressed in their finest bonnets, enjoying their black families and looking for all the world like my people. I was going to tell her that I finally visited my aunt on Friday after another 2-month shuck-and-jive session of The Delays, and how much they look alike. (My aunt presented me with a letter she was mailed in 1986, from my mother. It reads;


Aunt XXX,

It's happening. The comic book will be out in Dec. You can find it in store's (sic) that specialize in Magazines. I(f) you want one and can't find it, for 1.75, Alan he can get one for you for the same price.

Happy New Year and Merry Christmas.


Alan & Helen

See you at New Years Day.

Including in the envelope is a flyer advertising the comicbook I created in 1986, and published. My memory jogged and I recalled the day she mailed that. My aunt had saved it all these years. I was going to write my mom and tell her that I live two blocks south of where she grew up. I was going to tell her that I was sorry I didn't catch her that time she fell out from a seizure in Sears at the Nanuet Mall and hit her head on the floor which made a sound so loud that I screamed in terror.

She never did come home after that.

They took her to the hospital and upon discharge, put her in a nursing home. I suspect an Adult Protective agency was primarily in charge of this. Months (or weeks, who knows?) they had visited us in the apartment to see what was what. I don't know how they knew to come. Maybe a neighbor called. I was working overnights at the Post Office in Mount Vernon, so it was safe to leave her while she slept. Mom had been retired from her job because of epilepsy. She couldn't drive anymore, nor control when she would have a seizure. They were mostly petit mal, which meant that she only spaced out, (and drooled, oddly), then came to with no memory of what where how. These Protective visitors saw what I now realize was an unsanitary mess. Roaches. Dirty walls. Old torn up and stained furniture. Cat urine stiffening and stenching out the carpet. Poorly stocked refrigerator. A severely immature son trying to be her caretaker and failing miserably, lost and scared, and relying on a megalomaniac in a church in New Jersey for guidance. They didn't yank her right away, I guess, because I convinced them that I could do it. I thought I could. But soon, she stopped wanting to eat. She stopped cooking. She said she didn't like anything I cooked for her. She always wanted eggs, and nothing else. Eggs and bacon. Then one night, she fell out in Sears. This seizure made her just fall backwards.

From that point in the nursing home, she declined. She didn't speak much anymore. Her bodyweight dropped to that of an adolescent's. All her hair was gone by this time too. She recognized me, though, each time I'd visit. She didn't seem to know what to say, or couldn't, but she seemed to start loving me then. She was affectionate, which she had never been before. She would hug me then, and make smiley-cooing noises. Her mouth would twitch, though, like it was difficult, but she did it. And one evening, the nursing home called me and said she had an incident with drinking some liquid and they had to take her to the hospital. Don't really know what that meant. When I went to the hospital, she was unconscious and struggling for breath. She hung on like that for hours. The doctors said I should go home and they'd call me. I got home and about an hour later they called me to say she had passed away.

I had a lot of crap to work out with her that got severed. Things I still don't know about. I was immature, yes, but was she? Why have I taken responsibilty for how awful our house was? It didn't get that way just because she had come down with cancer. Well, I guess it got that way because she was only making 18K a year, trying to raise me. She couldn't afford to buy new furniture to replace the stuff that my cats had destroyed. She didn't seem to have enough to clean the carpets that my cats pissed on when I wouldn't empty their catbox in time. I was working at the Post Office. Why didn't I pay for it? Why didn't I replace furniture? Why didn't I be a better son? Why'd I have to wait until she died, and until I went running out to Missouri to find a new parent, a white guy no less, to realize how old I was supposed to be?

Yeah, these are the wonderful processes that go through me on Mother's Day. Trade ya!

I said I was going to be alright, but I don't think I really will. Not as long as I can't change the past. Not as long as it feels so catastrophic and claustrophobic to be in a relationship with another woman. Not as long as I suffer from the fear that I will screw up another woman's life and cause her to leave me. Can't do that again. Can't live with that again. Gladly, I will die alone and lonely before I watch that happen again.

Miss you Mom. I think I loved you.

I'm going to hit the publish button anyway, even though this is maudlin and personal, and might make you who know me weird out. The therapy is in the sharing.

Me at 5/10/2004 10:05:00 AM

So Pretty!
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Me at 5/10/2004 10:02:00 AM