“We’re horribly mundane, aggressively mundane individuals. We’re the ninjas of the mundane, you might say.” ~ Andy Partridge

                   

“Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. Good mental machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to hurt itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table”

Thursday, early afternoon.

The house is finally silent. So many new developments. What shall I enthrall you with first . . . Hmm, things that make you say hmm . . .

My mother was discharged from DePaul Hospital on Monday. From there, we took her to a rehab facility where she was supposed to stay for at least a week to monitor her blood clots and receive physical therapy for her leg. That lasted approximately 24 hours. I had had a feeling that it was going to be a fruitless endeavor, knowing how much she wanted to come home.

When we first arrived, my mother seemed quite pleased: She was placed in a nice-sized private room with en suite full bath—a nice change from her very claustrophobia-inducing hospital room. She was reassured that between her two healthcare carriers that everything would be covered, but there were a few odd signs here and there to which I should have paid more attention: For example, the question about who would be doing her laundry . . . the cable hookup in the room but the lack of a television.

She called me early on Tuesday and asked me to come and get her. Apparently, someone in the facility had moved her into a two-person room with a bathroom that was shared by four people. It was all just too much for her. Realizing that I was beaten, I acquiesced. She walked (was rolled) into her own house on Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday night she slept soundly without waking.

I spent Wednesday on the telephone calling various doctors and facilities to update those who needed updating, and I made an appointment with her PCP for this morning to follow-up on the b lood clots, and an appointment with her orthopaedist for next Wednesday to follow-up on her tibia fracture.

Then I showered her and gave her a pedicure. She ate dinner with a relish, watched “Cash Cab” on television, and settled in.

Post Script: I never had the time to finish this post, and quite frankly, it is a week old, so I am leaving it and moving on . . .

Music by Laura Izibor, “Mmm”

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation . . .” ~ Henry David Thoreau

 

Image by Joshua Brott

 

From Ellen Bass’s newest book, The Human Line

And What if I Spoke of Despair

And what if I spoke of despair—who doesn’t
feel it? Who doesn’t know the way it seizes,
leaving us limp, deafened by the slosh
of our own blood, rushing
through the narrow, personal
channels of grief. It’s beauty
that brings it on, calls it out from the wings
for one more song. Rain
pooled on a fallen oak leaf, reflecting
the pale cloudy sky, dark canopy
of foliage not yet fallen. Or the red moon
in September, so large you have to pull over
at the top of Bayona and stare, like a photo
of a lover in his uniform, not yet gone;
or your own self, as a child,
on that day your family stayed
at the sea, watching the sun drift down,
lazy as a beach ball, and you fell asleep with sand
in the crack of your smooth behind.
That’s when you can’t deny it. Water. Air.
They’re still here, like a mother’s palms,
sweeping hair off our brow, her scent
swirling around us. But now your own
car is pumping poison, delivering its fair
share of destruction. We’ve created a salmon
with the red, white, and blue shining on one side.
Frog genes spliced into tomatoes—as if
the tomato hasn’t been humiliated enough.
I heard a man argue that genetic
engineering was more dangerous
than a nuclear bomb. Should I be thankful
he was alarmed by one threat, or worried
he’d gotten used to the other? Maybe I can’t
offer you any more than you can offer me—
but what if I stopped on the trail, with shreds
of manzanita bark lying in russet scrolls
and yellow bay leaves, little lanterns
in the dim afternoon, and cradled despair
in my arms, the way I held my own babies
after they’d fallen asleep, when there was no
reason to hold them, only
I didn’t want to put them down.