Monday, February 21, 2011

Audrey

A year ago when I was deciding to move from New Jersey to New Orleans the toughest element of the decision was leaving my 90 year old mother in her nursing home.  Being the youngest of three boys I was always her baby. We lived together for many years and over the course of my life I had gone from being taken care of to being the care giver. After she was admitted to the nursing home six years ago,  I would bring her her coffee and cigarettes with an hour of time twice a week. Eventually just once a week.

She surprised the doctors and family by her resilience to strokes, falls and Alzheimer's. Seventy eight years of smoking hadn't even slowed her down. In fact, going outside a few times a day to have a Marlboro was the highlight of her day in an otherwise bleak existence.  Imagine a very bundled up Ruth Gorden outside in a wheelchair slinging profanities as she attempted to light her next smoke in the wind.

I recent months her health has declined sharply and it looks like she soon will be leaving us. So the final posts of my year long blog about my move down here will probably be a lot of my memories of her. Bare with me during my grieving period. To be honest, the grieving period started years ago as her mind started to fragment like an old hard drive. Dying are the ninety years of memories from an incredible and fascinating life of a strong, bright and independent woman.

Recently my friend Robert introduced me to the film "Curious Case Of Benjamin Buttons" Uncanny timing.  The film has allowed me to deal with emotions and feelings that I would've done my best to avoid with self medication and distractions of daily existence. I have loved ones in NJ, my mother whose life is coming to an end, and a fourteen year old daughter whose life is just beginning.  This is the first time in the past year, I wish I was there.

Wait until I tell you about Audrey, you guys will love her.



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