After my awesome trip back East (which I will relate in detail in a bit), I was feeling most cocky and spicy, so I went over to my sister, Kye, told her what a bitch she was, knocked her around a couple of times and threw her out of her own house. When her husband, Vince, protested, I told him what a worthless, faithless bastard he was and smashed up their glassware. When I got home, my mom's friend, Estelle was visiting and was wearing a HORRIBLE hat, so I sat straddle her, did a bump and grind on her lap until she fell over in a heart attack and then kicked her with the toe of my boot. When Kurt came over to see what Mom was screaming about, I told him he had to leave Maxine, NOW because for reasons I couldn't quite articulate or even fathom, she was in danger with him. He refused, so I threw the head at him and cut him out of my life FOREVER. He is DEAD to me, DEAD, do you hear? I went over to the parlor window and stared out for a while, thinking of my pain, my angst and now no one in the world GETS IT but me. When my mother demanded to know what had gotten into me, I berated her and told her what a horrible mother she'd been and all of the marinara sauce in the world wasn't going to change that she wasn't there for me when it mattered most and that I'd never, NEVER forgive her for that. Then I spit on her and ordered her out of my house. I went back to gazing out the window and thought about how cool I was, how the idiots around me just didn't get it at all and how my pain and angst WERE me.
Wait. That wasn't me. That was Sonny. OK, the lap dance was Faith, but it worked in there.
Now on to the real stuff.
So when we last left Sage, Mom Bourland was being all fruit loops and stashing her meds and turning into uberbitch all the time. I had just gotten her "corrected" when I last reported in with you on the subject. After a few days of me closely monitoring her pills and oxygen, she started getting aggravated with me. She didn't fuss as much about the internet and some nameless, faceless BAD that was going to leap from the monitor and throttle me to death, but she was bitching about me standing around, waiting for her to take her pills, not leaving from the time I handed her the pills until she swallowed them. Words like "Gestapo" started getting tossed around and on what we'll call "the last day," (no, the old bat isn't dead... yet) after I *thought* she'd taken the pill, I came back in to tell her something and there she was, spitting out the half dissolved pill into a tissue. >:< I was so mad I couldn't see straight. I looked at her really, really hard for a long time. She gave me that "busted" look, then switched gears almost immediately and got all huffy and indignant and rolled over in bed and turned her back to me.
That, my friends, was IT. Finito. El end o. I stood in her doorway, looking at her skinny little back, thought about what an incredible childhood I'd had. Thought about how much she'd helped me as an adult. Thought about the day in 1999 when we didn't have a clue she was sick and I came home from running around with Kurt to find her collapsed in the kitchen floor from a stroke. Thought about how hard she fought to come back from that and get almost full use of everything back again. Thought about all the time she cursed us and demanded we not take her to the hospital when we was obviously having a heart attack (we did). Thought about the endless days of pills and pills and pills and cooking for her. Thought about a lifetime of watching soaps with her and laughing and crying and sharing. Thought about how I'm almost 45 and have no life outside of the walls of my house except through a box that sits on my desk. Thought about how much the girls depend on me to take care of her because they all have their own families and lives to live. Thought about last year when she didn't know who I was a lot of the time and how the oxygen and meds had brought her back to us like a miracle. Thought about the first time I looked out the picture window and saw her walking in the herb garden without her cane, looking strong and vital and how that made me cry with relief after a year of hell. I thought about taking her to see Aunt Claire and how I'd hoped she'd get the message between that and finding that I'd cleared out her pill stash. Then I looked at that back that was still turned to me in defiance and anger. So many memories, so many thoughts and so many emotions. I went back to my room and thought for a long while. Picked up the phone and called Kye and told her that Mom would be staying with her for a few days. No wasn't an acceptable answer. She didn't even offer it. Just asked when I wanted her to pick Mom up and when her meds and oxygen were administered. I told her I'd write out the book of instructions and have it ready for her and Mom would be ready at lunch the next day. Next call was to my sister, Marji. An airline ticket was going on the credit card used for the co-pay on Mom's meds (the girls share the cost, thank god, because it's over $500 a month and that's WITH the insurance covering a ton of it... try working THAT into a budget!) and a brother would be on her steps in the wee hours between Saturday and Sunday. Have the guest room made up, the liquor cabinet stocked and no is not an acceptable answer. She didn't even offer it.
Said good-bye to my darlings on the message boards and honey, I forever more shook the dirt of California off my shoes and *went away.* Marji met me at the door with a stiff cup of Irish coffee and Sal's signature wafted up to me (equally stiff shot of whiskey). It was heaven. Absolute heaven. I was only going to stay for 4 days to start with, but then we went to war and I decided to wait a few days to go back. Honestly, I'm a coward because I figured Mom was having a major psychic meltdown over the war and I just didn't want to deal with it. Let Kye get a taste of it for a while. Marj and Sal are the best hosts ever. They have a giant, rambling, New England house with a million rooms and an atmosphere of absolute peace to it. I got to see Anne, my niece, who is a frat gal now and is wonderfully crossed somewhere between Goth and Beatnik in that Earthy, obscure way without being so Beatnik she seems pretentious nor so Goth that she's dead. She's so coolly unaffected and casual that it's a joy to be with her.
Marji didn't press and I wasn't really ready to talk until the second night. We all had a pretty pleasant buzz on, but not so that we couldn't speak intelligently (although that happened a few times as well with some of the laughing sessions where you have to go get your Depends to put on, walking all stooped over from the side cramps from laughing so hard). Sally had just made the most incredible canoli that you ever had melt in your mouth and that followed a chicken alfredo and garlic bread feast that was not to be believed. It was very relaxed and nurturing and homey. Sal is someone I've always respected immensely and he's probably my favorite in-law, although I do quite like Natalie and Vince is really decent. OK, I enjoy Frank (Cam's husband, but it's freaky that he has my Dad's name) quite a bit too, but Sal's just got that fabulous balanced personality thing going on that I love. One of the most enjoyable experiences in the world to me is to be in the presence of someone who is not only extremely comfortable being in his own skin, but is enjoying it immensely. I think that's one of the things that I value most about Katrina (our webmaster) as well. Sally has that going on in spades. You can always depend on him for 100% honestly and forthrightness. Marji got her a good one there and she knows it. They're still very much in love after 37 years together and play grab ass in the kitchen, which I accidentally discovered. *ahem* It's great to see a couple that grew together over all that time instead of growing apart. I used to think Sal had no sense of humor because he didn't smile much, but from what Marji said, the bouts with cancer took a lot of the wind out of his sails, so when I was an adult where I'd notice things like that, he was already in a lot of pain or chemo a good deal of the time. He's been cancer-free for about 7 years now and we're very hopeful that the remission continues. He just went back to work a few months ago at a nice restaurant in their town (he's an incredible chef) for the first time in over 10 years. He's thrilled to be working again and Marji was able to cut down to a part time job, for which she is very grateful. This time, he was a laugh machine and you could really feel the love of life coming through for him.
Anyway, I pretty much laid it on the line for her about how Mom had been and told her EVERYTHING, including the things that happened on the trip to the resort and how stupid she's been lately. I also told her that I hadn't really appreciated what felt like a lack of support from the sisters when I'd raised the warning flag. She brought up some really good points about how I'd minimized what was going on a bit and that I needed to be more direct, which I understand. She was very helpful with some good suggestions and I think we pretty much got things figured out. She called Kye right away and reiterated what I'd put in the notes for her about seriously monitoring Mom's meds and oxygen. I let Marj know how close this was pushing me to "the line" and that I didn't really know how much longer I could do it. We talked about some of the compromises I could make to give Mom some dignity, but we were both firm that Mom HAD to take her meds and HAD to use the oxygen. She also reminded me of something I'd totally forgotten (rejected as being unnecessary and at the time it was mentioned, it WAS unnecessary), which was that Mom's insurance would provide an in-home nurse for a limited number of hours each day if the doctor deemed it necessary, which he'd already told us he would. She called him that Monday and got him to write up the order and put it into motion. It's a process and won't likely occur for a couple more weeks since it's not an emergency basis, but at least the cavalry is coming. We should be able to schedule it so that I only have to do 2 sets of meds and oxygen, so that's a good thing. Anyway, to stop boring you on this one, we got everything all worked out, Marji alerted the "Council of Sisters" to the very Real and Present Danger and I felt much better. I at least felt "heard" and that is an important part of the process.
Sal is a computer whiz and helped me design my new page set up, which was great. He had some wonderful ideas and showed me some tricks with Front Page 2003 I hadn't known about before. He has the program I was telling you about called "Go2MyPC" where I could tap into my home computer and see my actual desktop from his computer. Soooo awesome! I could click his mouse onto MY desktop a nation away and get my e-mails! Technology is incredible! (Now go back to my damned page and subscribe to this!) *I'm not going to* because I only have one computer, but if you have a home and work computer, it would be the biggity bomb!
So I'm finally flying out and because I was piecing together the cheapest, most rickety-assed flight schedule I could, of course I got slammed with a vicious layover at O'Hare in Chicago on the way home on Saturday. OF COURSE that was the day of the giant protest rally and ever the press rep for EOS, I snapped a few pictures. I wasn't sure what the uproar was about (since my plane landed and another one took of three and a half hour later, I didn't have to deal with the mess I heard about in regard to getting to the airport... a lot of people missed their flights because of the protesters and there were frequent, um, bad feelings, shall we say, at the reservation desks) until I saw some of the signs people were carrying. GH fans are just everywhere:
It didn't take me long to figure out that there were some
pissed off "I don't count" demographics out there,
determined that ABC was going to take notice.
Of course, Guza had his flying
monkeys on the field as well.
(If anyone writes to ask why Big Ben is in Chicago for
the weekend, they truly do have no sense of humor
and should be shot like a cur dog in the street)
OK, so that was a little bit of fancy there, but there WERE protesters and they were "Anti-war" protestors. God knows we can't call them PEACE protestors.
So I'm ambling through the giant multiple monolith that is O'Hare, bored with magazines and crosswords and wondering how I'm going to blow three friggin hours when I swear to God, in the middle of Chicago, someone called my name. I instantly froze, knowing I was going to get gunned down just like Mom said. Shit. Visions of "Talk Radio" played in my head. I turned around and this hot little blonde woman was looking at me like she was hoping to hell she hadn't made a mistake.
I about jumped out of my skin! It was Karen, the Wub Queen! "OMG," I screamed (I literally said, "OMG"), "WTF??" We laughed and hugged and I couldn't believe one of MY NET BUDDIES had not only recognized me from the pictures I had on the site about a zillion years ago before le poope collided with le fan, but that she was right here, flesh and lovely bones, in front of me!!! OMG!! We were giggling and jumping up and down like dumb little girls in the middle of the thoroughfare. She was on her way home from Rochester or somewhere and had a layover not quite as terrible as mine, but her plane left later. We hit a little place called "Galileo's" (I think that was the name. It's sticking in my mind for some reason) and prepared to drink (and WHAT A woman! She's a SCOTCH DRINKER!!). I don't think there was any (gotta paraphrase Big Dan Teague here) *air* in the conversation at any time. We gabbed and yakked and talked like magpies. She filled me in on the crap I'd missed when Caroline Hinsley was on The View. I have nuthin against the lady and hate that she's always picked on, but wow! Way to kiss butt, woman! We talked about the validity of "blind items" in gossip sections and the whole "nanny nanny boo boo" childish way in which they are published. That whole, "I know something, but I'm not telllllin" thing has always pissed me off. I mean, how grown up are we? If you can't tell it, keep your damned mouth shut before the closet door slams shut on the wrong guy! The bar totally had no frozen drinks (pfft, useless) and I was so in a daiquiri mood. I *love* daiquiri's and can only drink them when I'm out with women so I can make it seem as though it's theirs and that I'm not a Girly Man. So I had my usual and you all know what that is. It wasn't nearly as expensive as I expected, so I had more (and put it on the medical credit card... heee heee, travel expense, you know). We also agreed that all of the people who were busting up perfectly good bottles of French wine just because it wasn't Freedom wine should send them to us for immediate draining. We elected ourselves the official monitors of contraband French wine. So you can pretty much see where this went. Info you may not have about the Wub Queen: She's an AWESOME kisser.
Way, way too soon, it was time to go to my gate and hop the plane. Thankfully, my baggage was checked through and had already been dismantled as they searched in vain for my solid gold dildo and inflatable sheep, so I didn't have to have my undies and skin cream and porn pawed through yet again. (sheesh) As the plane was taking off, I thought about how much fun I'd had talking with Karen and also with Sal and Marji and realized how blessed I really am. I wished that I'd been able to get in touch with James (how many of you pinged on James when I said I had a layover in Chicago? - smile). I didn't have time before I left, but called from Marji's (after picking up and putting down the phone about 127 times) and got a machine saying he was on tour. I didn't leave a message because I didn't know for sure when I'd be back and settled in, but I may call back again in a week or two. It was very nice to hear his voice.
I got back before Mom came home and had the house to myself. I went around reclaiming it a bit, letting my rebuilt self be there. Mom came home on Sunday and was quiet. She has been quiet all day today as well and Kye says she needs to talk to me, so I'm not sure what's up there. Kye had to hurry back to her home when she dropped off Mom and we didn't get a chance to compare notes. I'm sure we'll IM or phone soon. Mom took her pills and oxygen without incident, but hasn't had many words to spare for me since I got back. I guess I'll see what's up there soon enough.
Speaking of which, YIKES, it's midnight and her first pills are at 5am, so I gotta get to sleep or I'll get no sleep!
Talk to all of you later. Pardon the typos, darlings. No time for proofing tonight! I'll check it over tomorrow and try to fix my embarrasments.