Sunday, July 08, 2012

bunnies in my backyard

so, my mother says to me the other day "we're old.  your dad is old and i am getting older" to which i said 'yep'...it's funny that one day you just wake up and realize that you are getting older and that your parents are old...i used to write often about topics that my mom would have me research- we were great collaborators and now, well, we are both of the opinion that it isn't worth it...we know enough about what is happening and human nature to realize that as a planet- we're fucked...not as many folks know that i have a dad...i mean i suppose folks would figure that i came from somewhere but i haven't often mentioned him...

like all family relationships- it's simply complicated...i don't shy away from the fact that my dad is an alcoholic and my fam and i have been mostly estranged from him for the majority of my life- although lived together in the same house for many years...he wasn't terribly nice for years and treated us pretty shabbily and abusively- and so, the estrangement...that's the simple part...the complicated part comes from the fact that the fam as a whole has always been poor...and the parents never divorced so here i am as the oldest playing monkey in the middle...until recently...i moved my dad into my house...

he's old and probably should have died last summer from a slight stroke and a bout with pneumonia and colitis...but he has good genes and me so here he is- wobbly and decrepit and here...my mom made the move 12 years ago with my sister and it took her a bit to adjust and now, i am going through the adjustment again with him...i have said to folks that dealing with old parents is like herding cats and it's true...a delicate dance between telling them what to do and trying to maintain their dignity as adult and parent...my mother calls me bossy :) it's funny because there is such a difference between them in the way that they see the world and the way that they remember things...and the way that their minds work- and at the same time they believe the same way about politics and the state of the world and have come to those conclusions separately...

having been much closer to my mother and having had the opportunity to get to know her as a person and not just my mother- i can see why they were drawn to each other in the first place- and having gone through a lot of my own baggage from their relationship and grieving the loss of what i believed i had missed out on as a family- it is easier for me to help him out now that he needs it...i had no intention of doing so...but here i am ...because of two people who met and married and stayed that way in and out of love and abuse and hate- and now, old age...

my father spends a large chunk of his time on my back deck...smoking and watching the bunnies and the neighbors...mostly the bunnies...he watches out over them and the robins and just sits like a lizard in the sun...he really likes heat which is why he loves florida and he will never be able to go back there to live again...or to his other house 60 miles from here...he is here to stay...


which i suppose is good for the bunnies as there is a fox in the neighborhood and my father is ready to do battle with it to protect the bunnies...he hates that fox probably as much as he hates republicans and black people...yep....life is a strange journey...



1 comment:

Billie Greenwood said...

"...we know enough about what is happening and human nature to realize that as a planet- we're fucked..." I'm right there with you on that, Betmo. Thanks for sharing such a personal (and therefore meaningful) post! It went in a completely different direction than I expected from the title, but I really, really liked it.