Day 310/311

The things we do for love:

Wake up at 5AM both days of a weekend

Wet socks before 8AM both days of a weekend

Tolerate an intolerable (I even hugged her!)

Drive through the smell of Hamilton (sorry Steel-town, but that HAS to be mentioned)

Sleep on a couch a few years shorter than the adult me

Smelling absolutely vile, caked in sweat and grease and blood and champagne

Pulled in 18 different directions, none of which care about the me version of me

I may not love the things we do, but I do the things for love.

Day 276

6PM:

With this week on the job coming to a close…

This week on the job, taking the reigns, being aware to support my mother…

Doing this has led me to the following (or should I say continuing) thoughts: now, the starbursts of support may be in warmth or in echoes, while light years away the supernova has dwindled, used up its primary energies, become a secondary star.  Now, maybe I am meant to be the brightest star, the supernova that’s meant to provide the strength and courageous care – Tz’u.

It was me who called my aunt as the voice of reason, to make sure that she took care of my grandparents in my absence, ignoring her neglect (my birthday message to her that went unanswered out of “busy-ness”) and instead focusing on my grandparents and inspiring care.  It was me who has been my mother’s sounding board, her unwavering resolution through some trying marketing dilemmas during this job, her idea-bouncer-offer (and often creator).

It was me who has been bolstering my mother’s self-confidence this week, making sure that she does not feel obsolete, out-of-place, purposeless, but also balancing this with making sure she does not feel inferior, that she still feels like she is the best at schmoozing, at taking care of others, at being the silent upper-hand.  For example, last night she went alone to a schmooze-fest with another sponsor, much bigger than us.  I wanted her to go alone not only because I am fucking exhausted and sore (feeling it beyond my bones, but in my marrow, in my coldest physical parts), but because she needed to feel important, she needed not to worry about me being there, she needed to feel the best, she needed to feel “solo,” like she could conquer the marketing world all on her own and be seen as a super-woman.  Much of that is true, but much of that is about emboldening her and avoiding her feeling an iota of negativity towards herself.  I love my mother and would never want her to feel that way.  The difference is that it wasn’t about short-term pain for long-term gain.  It wasn’t about making her emotionally and intentionally healthy so that she could support my recovery, so that she could be the Don.  These intentions were about making her feel loved, feel cared about; these intentions were solely about her.

As such, I am led to the inevitable – no, the approached, not “rapidly approaching” – thought: am I the new dawn/Don of Tz’u?

Day 274 & 275

Can someone use up their “good” years?  Their “strong” years?  I’m not talking about my wife and her mistakes or me and my blackness.  I’m talking about something else entirely…

My Mom talks about the connection she had with and the greatness in my grandfather, before he got old, before falling down (although temporary, because nothing could, even in death, ever truly keep him down), before the years took their toll.  She speaks to the end of his window of absolute strength, of absolute spectacular-ness.  He can still do magic, can still make your head spin, can still show glimmers, but has a little less Houdini, a slower spin, a briefer glimmer.

She’s not wrong.

He is 82 and his years of taking on the evils of the world with the unwavering-ness of an army general (and of getting kicked out of brothels, according to a long-ago story of sport travel to Poland, and surreptitiously running away to Scandinavia to play soccer) are behind him.  The years of him displaying that are someone else’s now.  But that is his impact, his legacy for when he passes = the physics-defying passion and courageous care he’s passed along, payed forward.  It is his time to bask, to still be involved as a fitness counselor, life simplifying-er, idea bouncer-offer, loving recipe researcher (so don’t get me wrong with that point), but he has shifted from Don to consigliere.  For this reason, his role in recovery, in supporting, in providing tools is crucial and his knowledge and care and intellect are vital, but his role is secondary.

I felt that the new Don, my mother, would be a member of the primary.  Along with my wife and I, my mother’s intellect (bolstered by me encouraging her self-confidence, especially in not being a reflection of an answer, but in tapping into her knowledge for the answer) and care (bolstered by my father’s true nature of never-ending love – when the flaws brought on by the blackness are not in charge) necessitate her as a primary, a central figure, the new Don, the Don of Tz’u.  Necessitate her as the unwavering one, the one to have perspective, throughout.  Necessitate her as the one to combine head and heart and soul, having vividness in perspective.  Necessitate her as the one appearing lovingly fearless, unshakably fierce, adaptable.  That’s why my wife’s letter in January was offered first to my parents – they were behind the looking glass, down the rabbit hole and to be holding a flashlight to give luminescence to our path of recovery.

And then came my brother’s fall, his regression into blackness.  My mother fought hard – we all did.  She stumbled at the start, but when the true test came, she was ready, stood tall, had fire in her veins and the courage of an army general.  She was the Don.  She called the cops, stood up to my father and stayed that way through the hospital and legal committal process.  Exhausted and worn down though we were, we stood together like a mountain range, holding together and protecting each other from the erosion of my brother’s illness.  After witnessing his return to self – medicinally regaining hold from his blackness – they have breath, they have air again.

However, during last month’s job, I saw the fatigue in her.  I had shared my recovery plan with her days before, reminded her that day and did not find support, I found neglect.  Neglect, though, that was a side-effect of fatigue.  I witnessed a fire in need of nursing; a lessened strength, fight to care, courage to be aware.  So I took the opportunity not to simply bare witness, but to be the nurse.  I took that opportunity to backseat my recovery, which was very much in need of an intentionally aware support system – a system of Tz’u – to nurse the Don of Tz’u back to emotional, psychological, intentional health.  Short-term sacrifice for long-term gain, regain, reclaim.  I supported that reclaiming of my mother’s health, of the Don‘s health.  I not only waited for the reemergence of that strength and courage, keeping a vigil for it, but I supported it with care and most of all, supported the rest for a tired little mouse.

Lack of Tz’u, that was a symptom of fatigue… right?  That’s what I chalked it up to, thinking the best and hoping that the phone call to the cops was not the supernova’s last, greatest, brightest moment, the one before living out its days as a beautiful star in warmth, never being what it once was.  But there are shadows, questions, maybes: uncomfortableness with confusion; driving without confidence (actually backing into me with the car – akin to backing into a table, a familiar sign from Habitating Family Friend; lacking awareness to model proper eating habits, not for her sake, but for mine; standing up for support as opposed to caving as an enabler….

I am asking a lot.  That letter pre-brother asked a lot, but not too much.  Now that we’ve clawed our way back, now that we’ve come back to it, what I’m asking may be too much.  Now, the starbursts of support may be in warmth, or in echoes, while light years away, the supernova has dwindled, used up its primary energies, become a secondary star.  Imperfections regressing not out of flaws or blackness, but out of the supernova bursting and fading, out of the natural path, out of the diminishing of a spirit through the circle of life.

Given that, was it an ebb and flow in the starbursts, with the brightest yet to come?  Or is it time?  When I was that unwavering perspective through my brother’s madness and held on, was the torch being passed?  Am I the new dawn/Don of Tz’u?

Day 273

7:30AM:

This song was in my head as Mom and I were driving to the next job, through traffic hell and torrential rain to be her Swiss Army Knife, to do what few sane people sign up to do on their vacation time…

Sorry for the cheezy image.  Truth be told, it was because of my preference of a certain TV show that the song was in there.  So I guess, it was more like this…

When I went to post this, I looked at the lyrics first.  I wanted to post this because the lyrics have a lot to do with some thoughts that rattled through my head during the drive —

“Back On The Road Again”

Please don’t hate me mama for what I’m about to do
But the good times we’ve had together are just about now through
Please don’t misunderstand me, I hate to see you cry
But I think that it might look better if I told you now goodbye

[Chorus:]
I’m back on the road again, it’s time I leave you now
And maybe I’ll see you next time, that I’m around
Until then I hope your happy baby and good times come your way
I’m back on the road again, I’m on my way

Well I’ve loved you since the day I met you and I’ll love you till the day I die
But we both know the life I’m livin and we both know the reason why
That I’ve got to leave ya mama and I’ve got to leave today
But you know that I’ll see you next time that I come through your town to play

[Chorus] ooh, bye-bye baby

— about my mother.  Maybe they’ll sort out tomorrow, maybe they’ll be here tomorrow.  Writing helps.  It will help me understand this one too.