01 October 2009

Still Mourning in America

There is no such thing as centrifugal force, the force you feel pulling outward when you swing a heavy object around. It is an illusion. There is only the natural tendency of the object to go in a straight line, and the centripetal force, the force you exert to pull the object back toward the center that keeps it from going in a straight line and forces it to move in a circle. I find it remarkable that the frail little woman my mother had become was the centripetal force that held together the world of the household in which we grew up and the network of extended family and friends that provided the society that brought us to adulthood and anchored our existence in a comforting web of relationships.

Now that world is flying apart. Her brokerage account has been liquidated to pay her debts. Her remaining assets have been distributed to her heirs except for her IRA, which Chase Bank seem unable to part with. The house in which she lived for 53 years has been sold, and its contents given away, sold, or auctioned. Many of her friends and relatives are getting old and dying themselves, or otherwise losing touch. Even though they all knew her, they do not all know each other or how they are related. Some met for the first time at one or the other of the two memorial services we held for her near the East and West coasts.

Bits and pieces of her world have landed here. Her "basket of gems" lamp now hangs in our hallway. Her prized antique, hand-operated, wooden washing "machine" stands as a planter in our living room. The wooden secretary chair that both she and my father used sits next to our piano. The VD poster from post WW II Japan hangs inside the door of our study. I suppose that I will look upon them fondly someday. But now they're jarring reminders that they are here and not there. They are out of the context where I remember them being. A context which no longer exists, because it was given life by her living in it.

I mourn for her. But I also mourn for her world. It was a part of my world, and a part of me seems to have gone with it.

I haven't been writing, because I haven't been reading. I come home from work, do what I have to do, and then go to sleep and get up and go to work again. There hasn't been time. Or more accurately, I just haven't had the extra energy.

But I'm coming around. This post, after all, is something. I'm enjoying our new puppy, who is ideal for us at this time. It's amazing how much comfort I can get from the sound of her chewing a cow's hoof. I'm getting to like riding my new recumbent bicycle, which I bought because I can no longer ride an upright bike due to nerve damage caused by those narrow saddles. I got it just in time, because outdoor exercise is how I keep my spirits up when the days grow short, and winter is coming on.

4 comments:

The Underground Pewster said...

It is strange to have those things in their new place, but it is also an honor. Welcome back.

motheramelia said...

It's good to see you blogging again. Those memories of days past, no matter how bittersweet, are cherished reminders of love.

VanceH- said...

Thanks for posting Scooper. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

Anonymous said...

Keep writing, I look forward to your messages.