Though born and raised in Berkeley, she’s too much for Westerners to tolerate with ease. She fills a room and ambles fast. She’s such a driven worker, friends and enemies retreat from competition. Expertise is what she likes, employing pull and torque she had from birth and at her mother’s knees. That’s why she felt so natural in New York.
My high school friend has lost her mate, I hear, two months ago. Her email yesterday announced his death. Residing nowhere near we lived when young, exchanging words the way we do now (twice a year some birthday news), and knowing he was over 99, I don’t leap to condolence she can’t use. She loved him long and well and will be fine.
They’d months to ready for his graceful death. She’s now had weeks adjusting to the space he occupied before his final breath, surrounding now no body she’ll embrace. I know her nature, understand her soul. My friend will transit through this passage whole.
I disagree but dare not disapprove. There may not be a wrong-and-right to it. The better part of wisdom could behoove a parent to adjust to time. What fit my ancestors was inappropriate for me when I was struggling with mine. I witness now a difference, and admit their happiness. They’re odd but may be fine.
I lately have a lot of leisure time. Retirement first freed a chunk for me to travel, read, solve puzzles, work on rhyme, and sample ways to slow declivity. Pandemic damped down my society, and grandkids aged to need me less at play. Hiatus at my erstwhile company each week of late presents another day.
She asked my comment – should she intervene? Sit down and look sincerely in his eyes, and tell him to escape the liquored scene he lives with? To abandon compromise and leave the lady love he doesn’t love? Her son has always acted like he heeds advice from her. Should she say better shove off now, and move to satisfy your needs?
Oh dear, I said. Your boy is 56. He hasn’t asked your counsel. It’s worth less than nothing, unsolicited. The fix could be in psychotherapy, I guess. If you can steer him down that avenue, that may be all your mother love can do.
Though silence may be golden, that depends on what inspires it. When it proceeds from earnest ignorance, it none offends, but is that gold? Or simply lack of noise? The platinum of silence comprehends how biding and awaiting leads to good. To dwell unsure and pause complaining tends to incubate a silent growth that breeds a valuable result, with dividends.
I longed for independence as a kid. I wanted power, to be in control of self of course, and boundaries I’d rid or cherish. I took on an adult role. I wasn’t scared of bills, and though I loved my family, I pushed their care away. I sometimes yelled or threw a fit or shoved – I tried to modulate most every day.
When parents cut me off, financially, I didn’t hate them but I wouldn’t bow. I never took a dime from them again. To owe them would have cost too much to me. It’s strikes me, for I am the parent now, my kids don’t share the feelings I had then.
“Reactive airway” were the words I heard. “Disorder” (or “disease”) succeeded those. That’s how he named the wheezing that occurred when I sustained a cold. Such breathing woes, a temporary asthma, virus-spurred, a side-effect from all the smoke I chose, and kept inhaling till I got too old, determined recent symptoms were a cold.
Gaslighting me, this Spring the trellis hosts wisteria of white, where purple bloomed three years ago. They dangle like the ghosts of plants I bought from experts who assumed the petals would be lilac on my posts and lattices. But this is white-costumed. Although the blossoms cause me no anxiety, I’m sure I didn’t buy the white variety.