Words actually can express practically anything. But one must have an understanding and some kind of formulation of ideas to be expressed. What happens when there are conflicting thoughts and feelings? One way to manage is to express all sides to the conflict and calculate pros and cons of each position. But even so, the position with the least sway might have the most to offer. I suppose the motto for expressing one’s self in writing should be: just write it down and figure it out later. There does have to be a figuring-out phase. It does not necessarily have to involve logic, but it has to make some kind of sense.
This post is part of my processing. It is more or less, “Just the facts, ma’am,” as Joe Friday might say. Sense can come later.
End to travel day
I made it to my mother’s residence late last night. Mom isn’t feeling well. She said that her docs say she checks out fine, but she has this cough. She coughs a lot. The docs say she’s got ‘tricky’ lungs. I’ve heard of trick knees, but never ‘tricky lungs’. She says that there is no fever, so she’s not worried. I told her I’d take her to the doctor. Coughing takes a lot of energy. It would be better not to waste it on coughing.
Mom lives by herself in an independent living establishment. There is precedent in our family for living alone. Mom’s mother also lived by herself. in an apartment in New York City. Mom and her sister arranged to have someone come in a couple of times a week to help her out. There is a story in our family about a one of our relatives (on my father’s side) who ran away from her family in England with her boyfriend (although I don’t think that ‘boyfriend’ was the term used back then). She came to New York City in 1720 and got an apartment on Canal Street. When the landlord sold the building, a stipulation of the contract allowed her to live there for the same monthly rent ($6/month) for the rest of her life. She died in 1803 at the age of 104! Toward the end of her life, her great grandchildren took turns staying with her so she was never alone.
Faculties and relationships
Mom used to love listening to opera as much as Dad did. When I got in yesterday, I played a video of William, my grandson, for her. Mom said it sounded like rusty hinges. For more about this, see Getting Old Stinks, a post I inspired by a conversation with Mom.
I know this post doesn’t address autism per se, as my blog mission demands. I would categorize it more as a brief look at how intra-family relationships change with age. The family that includes a severely handicapped person involves a different dynamic that I do not consider in this post. The relationship of a child to his or her parents changes, many times before it stabilizes. When the scale tips, and the parents’ abilities decline, a child might take on a parental role, if he or she is inclined and if allowed by the parent. Although the roles are reversed, the expected outcome are different. Parents prepare their children to be independent. For what do children, who take on this responsibility, prepare their parents? Even if there is no role for some children in the care of their parent, it is hard to watch independence slipping away.