Sunday, March 20

go figure

I visit Mom on Fridays, make dinner, give Miriam a night off from cooking and cleaning duties. It’s a tradition now.  Yesterday, Saturday, 24 hours after I left for work on Friday, I got to my friends place after work and turned on my computer to find three e-mails from Mom. The first read:
Hi Mike would you please come home and visit me?  Love you, Mom
The second:
Mike please get in touch with me I want to talk to you. Love, Mom 
And the third:
Naturally, I called right away. Miriam had left to get something from the store, something that they couldn’t wait for. Mom prefers not to go out, so she stayed at home.

And then forgot that Miriam had left, forgot that Miriam lives there, forgot that she wasn’t actually alone at all, forgot pretty much everything. The thought of what that would be like makes me cringe.

This morning I woke up to an e-mail from the UK, from my Dad. He’d received a troubling e-mail from Mom yesterday too, one desperately asking him to come home because she was alone and needed him. They’ve been divorced for 27 years, of course, and the tans-Atlantic flight is a serious commute, but in that moment…

Well, she just felt alone. Utterly, completely.

There’s a disconnect that I don’t comprehend in all of this. It defies logic. She knew to e-mail my Dad because he was far away, used a computer that she can barely turn on and e-mailed me too, three times, but never thought to pick up the phone and call me even though the number is by the receiver. But I don’t think logic has much to do with ALZ or that kind of fear - that sense of isolation even if it isn’t really the reality. For her, then, it was real, and she was at the computer, and she just reached out, pleading.

When I called her, everything was already back to normal, whatever that is. Miriam had returned (she’d only been gone twenty minutes), and Mom was re-centered. She’d just needed a prompt to put things back in place and regain the semblance of a perspective on her world. We’d be lost without Miriam.

I thought, What would it be like to lose your whole world in less than twenty minutes? That made me think of Japan, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan... It was a somber evening.

When I got up this morning, after I sent Dad an e-mail to let him know that everything was okay (whatever that is), I found this, a quote posted by a yoga-instructing friend on Facebook:
"What if our religion was each other ~ If our practice was our life ~ If prayer our words ~ What if the temple was the Earth ~ If forests were our church ~ If holy water - the rivers, lakes and ocean ~ What if meditation was our relationships ~ If the teacher was life ~ If wisdom was self knowledge ~ If love was the centre of our being" ...Ganga White
It made everything a bit better - that thought, that big wish. The tragedy in Japan is creating a new, renewed appreciation for the most admirable aspects of Japanese culture. In Egypt, over 70% voted for constitutional change in a referendum. And there are people who think of and write giant wishes across the parchment of our world; ones so big that they can have a life of their own. And there are friends that can make losing the whole world better with just a few words.

In Hiroshima, the first springtime after the bomb, green things grew where nothing was supposed to grow for fifty years. Today Mom’s having a great day.

Go figure.