Mom’s surgery and a comparison

        I’m in Prineville again. Been here for two days now. Saturday. Drove in Thursday. The plan was to hit the charging station in Sandy at noon, have my one-on-one with my manager while I topped off the car, then head to Saint Charles in Redmond to visit my mother who’d just had her gall bladder removed. From there on to Bend where I planned to visit the “last” Blockbuster video, grab some swag, walk on over to the McDonald’s I worked at in the early 90’s, then head to the Bend superchargers for another top off before heading back here where my first task would be followed by replacing one of the power sockets in the garage so I could keep the Y charged over the next week (last time the circuit kept blowing and the charging unit went tits up so ended up having to head to Bend a couple times just to keep enough charge—fuuuuuuuck). The plan was then to pick a small bottle of Black Label from the nearby liquor store and spend the evening alone, in peace and silence, watching movies, and generally kicking back. I have a tendency to plan my days off to create a sense of normalcy. But alas, it was not to happen. My mom was doing okay and I was to meet her back at the house.
        Over the years, as I’ve had to admit the mortality of my parents, their finite participation in my life, I wondered (and fretted) about who would leave their mortal coil first. I knew it would be interesting if it were my mom given her predilection to loneliness and depression, something I can all to intimately relate. My dad was blind and would need someone to take care of him which lead to the conclusion he’d be living with one of my siblings or me or it’d be the old folk’s home. Given his propensity for throwing not so veiled verbal tantrums I had no doubt any of the before mentioned scenarios would be interesting, to say the least. If it were my mother, sensitive person that she is, and someone who deals with adversity by eating and ensuring the house was always dutifully mired in Amazon packages—well, neither scenario was without its challenges. Selfishly my secret “hope” was that they’d head to the great ever after together on the return from a long trip visiting friends and family in California. Neither would have to suffer without the other. The reality of being there for one, alone, would not be part of any future equation.
        Alas, the universe made up its mind last year and here I am again after so many (too many) trips back and forth over the mountain. And while I’d thought my role would simply be to come and make sure someone was around while she recuperated, I’ve also found myself in the unexpected role of town cryer, sending Facebook messages to friends and family, keeping everyone in the loop.
        She’s back home!
Blah, blah, blah.
        She’s having a tough day but she’s getting around!
Blah, blah.
        These are the types of responsibilities that don’t come naturally. I’d prefer putting a web page together with red, yellow, and green. Green means everything’s hunky-dory. Naturally. Yellow means things aren’t great and could possibly go either way. Red, obviously, implies phone calls should be made now while it’s still in the cards.
        Thank the gods for social media.
        It tuckers me out. It shouldn’t but it does. This whole year has. The drives. The unexpected phones calls. The unplanned hastily packed road trips. Coordinating with my work so I can be where I need to be without throwing another vacation day in the garbage. COVID combined with the small town morons who’re all too happy to pass it along to me. So tired. So very, very tired. There’s not enough coffee to help me keep up with, well, myself, and my body, well, it refuses to safely consume the same quantities of that hot, black nectar as it had so easily absorbed in my twenties and thirties.
        Here I am. I’m down three large monitors, perfectly positioned, over a wide, comfortable desk attempting to get something done from a 13” MacBook Pro at the kitchen table which is covered with a Christmas tablecloth. There’s a cup of now room temperature coffee in a China mug on my right, a large Pepsi on my left (I rarely drink soda anymore but why the hell not?). To the left of that my notebook with a patch bearing the red, black, and white flag of the city of Amsterdam glued on. My Bose noise canceling headphones (charging). A bag of my dad’s things for my sister (I’m keeping myself busy and moving by cleaning out the den). The kitten, now a teenager, playing under the table.

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