Monday, November 29, 2010


My stepfather can't get out of bed anymore. Falls down and lies in a heap for an hour while my poor stupid mother tugs and cries. Finally she calls me and I come and load him up, and he hobbles about, Parkinsons, one slow dragging foot and then the other. He fell and broke the bathroom sink yesterday. Today my mother said to me, in front of him, that she understands "mercy killing". She has a lot of anger and resentment. I was quite harsh about that. She can think it, and say it, but not in front of him. "Oh, he doesn't understand." Nevertheless. This, from a woman who will not train her four little incessantly-barking dogs not to piss in the house.

He's in the hospital now.

I'm not at all sympathetic. We call these things down upon ourselves. If she had not squandered all her money on her grandchildren and my brother, she'd have resources now. If he had not eaten at Jack in the Box every day for thirty years, he wouldn't be dying a slow and degrading death. If I had been prudent and sociable, I would be surrounded by loved ones and material wealth.

Today a friend of mine -- undoubtedly the best friend I've ever had -- told a story about how his wife was upset because he'd thrown out an empty printer cartridge that was by the trash. She got all huffy about it, or snippy, or indignant, or whatever. It was disappointment. She had this idea in her head about how things should be, and her plan was foiled. He joked with her about it later, when maybe she could hear it. But it was still on his mind too. That's how we are. We like things to be the way we'd like them to be. The Buddhists are not wrong -- the cause of suffering is desire. A cause.

I got a sore throat last night, before I went to bed. Not very sore. But I couldn't sleep, again, and I'm not feeling well. Ate too many almonds. Nothing unreasonable, but one must prepare oneself. Sleep deprived again and unwell is not a great combination. So I'll try to get seven hours tonight. I have ongoing early-morning obligations. Not an easy thing. This weekend was the first two days in a row that I've had to myself for six months. Then I had to eat too many almonds. Too much of a good thing. Hope I don't degenerate and need to be mercy killed.

Who will love me if I'm not strong, and wise?

So love her, or him, even when she's weak, or foolish. It's not even that God is watching. It's that kindness should come, first, to humans.


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