Mom & me

Today as I prepare for the first day of the spring semester and my Torts class I am struck by the dissonance of life’s recent events. On the one hand, my students are embarking upon a new path, encompassing the study of law and all the possibilities a J.D. will open for them. On the other hand, I watch the slow progression of my Mother’s dementia, and process the fact that for the first time since she was diagnosed, she raised her fist to me. It’s rather startling and unsettling to experience what feels like such a major turning point. I’m not sure life really prepares one to reach this point. Conversations with friends who’ve walked this path provided great advice, but the experience is singular and not easily intellectualized, though I know her behavior is attributable to the dementia. After I helped the nurses ensure her comfort, I left feeling a loss of the familiarity with, and comfort of, a Mom in whose mind I was the protector and comforter.

After a healthy cry in the parking lot, I headed home. It’s a beautiful day today. It’s in the 60’s and sunny, after weeks of grey skies and winter weather. This would have been a great day to take Bea (the blessed Harley) out, but barring that I could at least give her a start and let her run for a while. So that’s what I did. While she idled, I took advantage of the mild day to clean the crud from between planks on the deck. It wasn’t long before I discovered a major source of the problem. Damn nails

Between cussing and fussing and cleaning, the intensity of the visit with Mom diminished, and I began to turn my thoughts again to my students and what a gift it is to have the honor of equipping them for the future.

I am also thankful for the time spent today at lunch with nephew & niece, Kendall and Kendra and their two little ones, Xavier and Roman. Kendall came to live with me when he was 15 (his version here: Fayette Chill-1), and it’s still a bit amazing to realize he now has his own family. Kendall & RomanListening to their plans and watching the two young ones is yet another reminder of the cycle of life, and the importance of being as engaged with, and supportive of, them on their journey as I am with Mom on hers. Kendra & Xavier

In the same way, my adoption by Miss Daisy, the rescue kitty found wandering the streets of Springdale, is reflective of life’s seasons. This sweet 9 month old, joins the family even as I feel the loss of my beloved 17 year old Pearl, the indefatigable head of this household whose body gave out on her the day after Christmas.

pearl  Daisy

Well, though I will likely continue to work through all this for some time, I must leave you dear reader, for now. The law of assault and battery, and a class of first year students await me.