Love and Death

Posted on Oct 15, 2013

October 15, 2013

I’m learning a new song. Anytime (I’ll Be There) written by William Finn.
Rick Lewis told me that I should be singing it, and I knew it, from the Elegies CD.
I think I had been consciously avoiding it, it being unabashedly sung by a person who is dead. Now that I’m working on a theatre piece about love and death and grief, I charge myself to dive into this kind of stuff. There is a method to my madness. If I’m a mess, it’s “for work.”
So, that said, I had a fantastic visit with my mom this last week. It was her 77th birthday on October 8th, and really, I’ve started this blog so that we could have a public dialogue because she is out of this world funny. Now, I have a famous dad, who was known for funny. He was out of this world funny. And it seems remarkable that I could have had two insanely funny parents, but I do, or did, since my dad died (that word is so short for such a prolonged experience) in February of 2011.
My mom is in a lot of pain. She has ghastly arthritis and it takes her a long to “unwind” as she puts it, in the morning. It’s the pits to know the kind of pain that she’s in, and not be able to do anything about it. I do know that when we talk and laugh and watch Jeopardy and The Wheel of Fortune together that she is lighter, often, so I suggested we blog together. I think when I said the word “blog” she responded curiously, with “blob?” “blah?” “what?” My mom will have NOTHING to do with the internet, therefore that word had na’er passed her lips. So we were laughing a lot, as usual, and I said mom, we can do a blog together and we can call it “Oh The Places We’ll Go, Oh So Slow” and we laughed, a lot, as usual, because we both think that we are so funny, and we agreed to do it.
The title, by the way, is incredibly accurate, because if you go anywhere with my mom, it’s going to take a while. She is surprisingly slow. Her personality is all rapidity. Her sense of humor, like a rocket. Her vocabulary, abundant, her mind, gorgeous. Her body reluctant. Which really sucks because she doesn’t like it one bit. So when we go anywhere it’s gonna be slow. And I thought it might be good to write about that together, because I know that there are a lot of people, like me, who adore their parent, and want to take them places, but need to have assurance that the trip will be pleasant. There will be a place to rest, for instance, if necessary, or a parking spot close to the entrance, or just the knowledge that the people who run the place are kind and sensitive to special needs.
So we’ll talk and write about that too.
The first trip we took with all this in mind, was to The Getty Museum, in Malibu, California.
My mom is a Julliard graduate, an opera student, then professional. Needless to say, the woman loves the arts.
Here’s some of our dialogue prior to our leaving for our adventure:
Mom: Oh god, do we have to go out? My body aches.
I give her the look…which means WE ARE GOING!
I help her get dressed (don’t ask how long that took, it involved pantyhose)
and we’re off.
The Getty Museum had special parking for us, we asked at the gate, and they were very solicitous. It was also very easy to get a wheelchair. We were there on a weekend, a lot of kids, but everyone was helpful despite the crowds.

To Be Continued….

1 Comment

  1. Susan Morse
    October 15, 2013

    I’m hoping to get to see your mom sometime..I remember your parents like it was yesterday. Always brings a smile to my face 🙂 Sorry to hear she’s in pain though. My mom will be 92..she has her good days, and not such good days. Great that you are taking her interesting places and having fun with her. Much love to you both…Happy Birthday Barbara!


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