Others suggest this was a sign to stay close to home. That I’m running from my mother’s complicated and life-threatening maladies. That I need to be here to face her and them. But I’ve lived with my mother for the past two years. I’ve monitored her health, conspired with nursing aides to try to mobilize her, and made peace with her complete refusal to comply with a single doctor’s recommendations.
I received the same calls in Brooklyn that I received in Amsterdam; cell phones are marvelous that way. Verbal consents were taken, verbal updates given. I’m curious what level introspection I’m expected to have while immobilized. I’ve stared at the ceiling while feeling bones knit back together–a delightful sensation if you’re a stone cold masochist–but I can’t get to my mom comfortably this way. Being off my feet doesn’t free me up to offer any additional care, or productively focus on her comfort, or successfully field endless calls and texts about her, because it’s all a grave, awful business. All it does is give me more free hours to contemplate how terribly I’m executing her wishes. How little preparation I’ve had for this. How desperately I need family friends to show up when I can’t.
One person suggested this somehow spared me from something more heinous: the dreaded, “It could be worse.” I dismiss this outright. It’s akin to saying God moves in mysterious ways. I have no proof I’d be crashing in a plane right now or being kidnapped abroad had my foot been whole. It’s a fairly common “sympathetic” phrase that’s beyond useless. It infers I should be blessed merely to be breathing, when I’ve come to expect more from my life.