I asked my Ma what she wanted to do in the New Year, besides lose a couple toes. Don’t panic. The toe losing is all completely arranged, one of those maddening episodes where a surgeon whittles away at the feet of her diabetes like all those well meaning pious folk rubbing away at the feet of the Pieta. I took one look at the orthopedic surgeon and realized I should not vocalize this parallel. He would not brook that. I could tell by the tassels on his loafers.
So, Ma, got any plans?
Ma said: I want to live.
Live! I was a little shocked, what in the world do you want to live for?
I want to see how it all turns out, she replied.
Chances are your view might greatly improve if you quit living. Either that or you instantly understand there’s no use lingering to take it all in, a better vista awaits, conceived of an essential structure you simply could not have imagined while… alive.
Yeah right. It’s been a hell of a year, people. I tried to cover all the bases, improve the odds, do my part, cut my hours, amp my resources, trick my gear, love smarter not harder, show up, shut up, stand up and never gloat, cry, stop crying, cry in defiance of the stop crying order, build it and burn it, and demonstrate by example how to and how not to ever.
My Ma is dying ever so slowly, just like me. After a holiday filled with her sad shame at not being able to afford thousands of dollars in gifts for all of us, she turns around and speaks her mind in the long corridor of the Mercy Medical Complex.
She’ll never know that’s all I ever wanted anyway. Born wanting life and looking straight at my Ma for it, and she supplies.
Just by being herself.