Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's bwoken (insert sad face)

Dropped my camera yesterday morning as I was preparing
to leave for the weekend. The good news: I can still take pics.
Bad news: can't view them or do anything with the touch screen.
That's ok. It will all work out. I am going to get a new one.
I have consulted Ian, who is one of the best photographers
I know. He just got a new, affordable amazing camera, so I am
going to see what he says (what say thee, Ian?).

Spent Friday night in the ER with Marie. She fell at the nursing
home. Her foot just gave out on her (bones are shot in one of her
feet and it just crumples with no notice). So grateful she did not
break a bone. Bruised face, stitches in the corner of her mouth,
bruised palm. She is an amazing 92 yr old. Still drives. Still lives
in her own home. Cognitively losing ground but still aware of most
things going on. I don't know if Gene will ever get to leave long-term
care, and I fear both of them are giving up. This is hard to watch
and hard to live and hard to not feel sorry for me as the watcher,
the one who can do nothing but wait for phone calls re: falls, meds,
wills. The one who needs to just do what needs to be done (as I do)
and try not to think too much about how difficult it is to watch the
end near. Both could live several more years, but both are getting
tired. I just gotta get some rest and do what I can do to be as
positive as I can be and as helpful and as present. Mostly, as present.

Glorious 4th birthday celebration yesterday with my precocious and
amazing and oh so dear to me grandson. He was really busy so GiGi
took the back seat, but that's ok. He knows I was there. He won't forget.
Or maybe he will, and that will be ok, too. He enjoyed me yesterday.
That's what matters today.

I don't remember being 4. I am not sure why I think of this question
so often: what is your earliest memory, but I do.
And I don't know what it is or why it even matters
but it seems it does for some reason and I can't
let go the wondering.

You know you live in rural western KY when fireworks are still going
off on the 10th (started going off in late June). Redneck haven or heaven,
I suppose. I would go off on a tangent about how someone can afford
these large, expensive fireworks displays but can't afford to pay child support
nor pay the bills but I'll try to refrain.


LKD said...

I remember being 4 years old. It was the year my grandmother, my mom's mom, was dying of cancer. I remember seeing her in bed, yellow and thin. I remember being afraid of her even though she had previously been my favorite person in the world.

Actually, I remember an earlier memory of her. She took my older brother and I to the Cleveland Zoo. I recall getting to ride an elephant and being both elated and terrified at being up so high, so far from the ground. And I remember how she took us into a souvenir shop and told us we could each pick out a single item, anything we wanted. I chose what appeared to be an elephant made of bamboo, sitting, its trunk raised, its sapphire gem eyes sparkling. I recall seeing it high up on a shelf, pointing to it, saying: That. I want that.

I still have that elephant. It's not made of bamboo, some polymer of some sort that looks very much like wood. And the eyes are just little gem beads that you could purchase in any craft store.

But even now, when I see that elephant (I haven't dug it out in a while...its packed away right now), it still lifts my heart and connects me instantly to that moment and to a woman I didn't know very well but who I loved a lot.

Sorry to hear about your camera. I've come here to wander among your flowers a lot lately. The gigantic magnolias look like man-eaters. They evoke that Kenyon poem about the flowers big as human faces instantly.

Your remark about the firecrackers made me smile. My family lived next door to a Greek-Italian family (a volatile mix to say the least--in the summer time, the husband and wife used to stand in their garage screaming and shouting at each other and their voices would echo through the neighborhood) with a son who was a hyperactive pyromaniac (who later, alas, became terribly, irrevocably addicted to alcohol and drugs and subsequently died at a very young age as a result of those addictions). From the time that kid was old enough to set off his own fireworks, he was hooked. We always new the 4th was close at hand because he'd start setting off fireworks a week in advance, go full out the night of, and continue to light up the nights for at least a week afterwards. It's a wonder that he never lost a finger, hand or eye to those things.

Maggie said...

Your story of your grandmother touched my heart. The fear you remember associated with someone you loved so much makes me think of how children internalize these events and if they have any significance.

The fact that you remember that day when you got the elephant and the joy you felt and the joy being connected to someone you love is inspiring. Your memory of the fearfulness does not outweigh the good memory of her. They are both there, as I feel they should be, to balance us. I love it that you still have that elephant!

My mom kept so many things from my childhood and has given many things to me throughout the years, but I have not been a good keeper.

I have tossed. For some reason, many of the things she kept that were mine did not resonate. They meant nothing. I felt guilty that she kept and I discarded them or just let something happen to them (lost in a basement flood or a move). I have a hard time keeping things.

I started thinking again about my earliest memory, and the best I can come up with is a time when we (my mom and siblings) went to City Park Zoo in either Norfolk or Virginia Beach, VA. I remember a gorilla in a cage. I remember how angry he was. I remember him throwing his feces at the viewers. I remember being afraid that he would get out of his cage. I remember being repulsed at the smell and the throwing of shit all over everyone near the cage. I remember feeling sad.

There are pictures somewhere of that expedition, but not a picture of the gorilla. I think I was 5 or 6 years old. That's the best I can come up with. I think there are so many things I have blocked out.

I go from trying to think of first memory of anything to trying to think of a happy memory as it seems most of my memories are not so happy.

I like thinking of those sapphire eyes. Lovely image!