Wash My Bones and Sing My Song

It feels good to feed her. To be kind to her. She leaps at a cricket on the kitchen floor to kill it. They’re ugly, she can’t stand them. She wonders where they all come from.

Outside, on the path from the mailbox, she picks up dead sticks and says they’re ugly, she hates them, she wonders where they all come from.

She called two nights ago, left three messages. She was distraught, said she’s come to the conclusion that I should come home to live with her, then she’ll be happy and I’ll be happy too.

For Mom to arrive at a decision like this she must have suffered untold agonies!

She can no longer take care of herself. The winter will be too long and harsh. I ache with her pain, and I’m drawn to help her. But I resist. I mustn’t go where I will suffocate slowly, agonizingly. She’s shrunk vastly. Her shoulders and back hurt and she wishes to lie down. She thinks everyone must feel like that.

Last time I was home there were letters left on the counter unopened. I tested to see if she could open them. She could, but she couldn’t tell a personal letter from a bulk mailing. I asked her if she can read, she said “Yes, of course I can!” Then I played a cruel game to test her. I asked her to read a card from one of her granddaughters. She was able to read a word or two, but no more. She could only identify a few letters of the alphabet. I tried two rulers to make a single line of text between them, but it didn’t help. After I read the card she didn’t respond. I was so glad to leave!