Personal Bits 2 Replies

I wake up this morning with the first thought in my head being: “I need to call Dad and see how…”

Then sleep leaves me fully and I remember. I lay there in bed for a few minutes fighting back the monster of depression and breathe slowly. Gone.

Rationally I try to figure out why this just happened. And in a sense, it goes hand in hand why I haven’t blogged much over the last couple months. I haven’t written not because I don’t have anything to say, but I have definitely lost my voice.

Last month, my mother moved to town. Regular readers of this blog will suddenly realize I’ve written very little about my mother while new readers will look sideways at the regular readers for some kind of reaction. Sort of like a newbie follower sitting with a hard core fan, sitting down to watch Dexter mid-season.

My Mom. We’re different. Always have been. At an early age I knew that she was an enigma in my life. Some strange woman who would issue discipline and ultimatums in the absence of my father (which was pretty much Monday to Friday) who, while I was learning and loving crayons, paper and art, she was learning and manipulating numbers, going on to become a very accomplished accountant. When my father came out of the closet, we bonded beyond father/son into pupil and mentor. You can guess why my relationship with my mother was not ever close, especially when my father and subsequently myself, revealed our sexual preferences.

In fact, Mon and I didn’t speak for about 4 years, 20 years ago, for a reason I won’t drag out into the open. To this day we haven’t spoken about the silence that occurred between us. I doubt that we will. But somewhere along the way we silently made up and continued our long distance relationship as mother/son in situ.

A year before Da died, Mom made noises about moving to Toronto to be near family again. Near the kids and the shops and the theatres. The big joke there was that she’d live in the same building as Da and they’d be neighbours and ain’t life weird, like some Fox sitcom? Then Dad passed and within a decent amount of time, Mom made the move to Toronto, not to the same building but to a condo one down the block and shockingly similar to the building she just left, the only difference being a slightly smaller apartment and a new front desk concierge.

Now she’s in town, she’s 99% unpacked and at 78 years old, obviously needs help unpacking, setting up and getting things back to the way she likes it. This weekend I have to move a 175 pound sculpture into the hall where she had it before in Brockvegas. Next week will probably be assembling armoires and such.

You can see what is happening here (see title: blog post). With little time between caring for parents I’ve fallen back into the rut of explaining how the internet works, how computers work, how TVs work. “Rut” is such a harsh word. I don’t mind doing this, in fact (without trying to sound maudlin or “mea culpa” at all) I sort of think this is my ultimate reason for being here.

However, the other day she showed me a purchase she made in a boutique in Yorkville with the comment “I’m spending your inheritance” which was Da’s catch-phrase when he justified his trips to South America. I know that somewhere in me, I don’t think I’ve processed Dad’s passing fully. Nor do I think any amount of time will fix that.

2 thoughts on “Sublimation

  1. Sharkboy

    Trust me, it’s been 4.5 yrs since my dad passed and there are days I’ve forgotten he’s no longer with us… It’s a strange feeling to suddenly come back to reality

  2. jtree

    You know, grief manifests in strange ways, and while there are “stages” supposedly (I’ve read about them in my research), the reality is, depending on whether you successfully mourn or dwell in melancholic cycles or simply “move on” — Da will always be a part of you both actively and passively, consciously/unconsciously… and so will your Mom, and all the pain you’ve experienced with her… and that’s okay. And you’re not alone. And you’re wonderful.

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