This week finds my self actualization summer transforming into my self actualization fall.
Which pretty much adds up to: I didn’t get everything done.
And Robin Williams died; news which left a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye though of course I’d never met him and he seemed to have had one hell of a life.
But I’ve known and battled my own demons often enough and there seems to be no explaining to someone who hasn’t gone through it what depression is and how powerless and desperate it makes you.
Death seems warm and oh so peaceful in comparison. And surely those you leave behind will be better off.
(This is what you feel. This is what you write and tell yourself as you huddle in that corner).
When my children first realized there were such things as actors they each claimed Robin Williams as My favorite actor!
We loved Aladdin, Hook, Flubber, R.V., Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poet’s Society, & Jumangi. My oldest son was five or so when we took him to the theater to see that last one – he leaped into Scott’s lap at the first sight of that lion and stayed there throughout the rest of the film.
The Birdcage and What Dreams May Come are among my top ten favorite films. I’d actually watch Letterman or Leno if Robin Williams was going to be on.
His face mingles alongside shadows of Whitman and Lincoln’s when I hear the words “O Captain, My Captain” – his light lent itself to them; raising them even higher.
And so it’s been a rather melancholy week. The news more frightening to watch than usual. Violence and unrest in Missouri. (Missouri. Right here in America in 2014). Horrible goings on in the Middle East. (Why don’t we hear more about this? Why isn’t it front and center ahead of celebrity gossip and human interest stories?)
My mother called me yesterday wondering Where her boys were? I realized after a moment she meant her two youngest brothers who she’d helped raise, both of whom have been dead a year or so.
I was afraid she would mourn them all over again if I told her she was confused – that they were grown, had grown old with grandchildren, great grandchildren of their own, and passed away. But she didn’t. She simply said Oh I knew that!
My aunt, my mother’s sister who I haven’t seen or talked with in years called me today; worried my mother didn’t sound right on the phone.
Yeal she doesn’t. Some of the time, most of the time.
It’s dementia. And those (probably, so the doctors tell us), hundreds of strokes she’s had over the years.
A few weeks back she had her hair permed. Shauna, (the stylist) later told me mom was shocked when she looked in the mirror and saw her hair was grey. (She’s always colored it herself you see, and hadn’t done so in a while).
Mom stared wild eyed into Shauna’s ill lit mirror exclaiming “I can’t go out like this! My hair’s grey!”
Shauna felt bad, (she had another client waiting – there was no time for a color), mom was angry. My brother, who picked mom up, stared at her when she came out and asked “Why’s your hair grey?” which didn’t help the situation.
When I spoke to my aunt on the phone she didn’t recognize my voice. I could hear hers though, in there somewhere, beneath an old lady smoker's rasp she’s somehow acquired in the years we’ve been out of touch.
Like in Hook: when the little lost boy pulls and prods at Robin William’s grown up face and finally exclaims Oh there you are Peter!
I always teared up at that.
I tend to tear up at a lot of things.
Son Number Two (CurlyTop) beings college classes again tomorrow. Fall semester – that crisp feeling of new pencils and pens, fresh notebooks, unknown text books and professors. Papers to write and tests to take and being on time. Keeping ahead and up and going beyond.
Coyote is in his College Prep year. With a job interview in the morning.
And today I vacuumed (determined to keep the house tidier than it’s been this summer), and tackled laundry mountain and ran my four miles up hill and made a slew of doctor appointments and prepared dinner and made certain Little Bit had everything he needed for the first baseball game of the fall season.
And I wrote. And read a bit and wondered if my meds will hold out till I see the doctor; knowing they probably won’t and what will I do then?
Two nights ago we watched The Bird Cage (which I can talk along with). I found myself thinking about adopting a fifth dog just so I can name him Agador Spartacus.
And we went to bed too late where I dreamed of the ocean; wild waves tossing me about. It was the cold North Atlantic I knew (the way you do in dreams); which I haven’t seen in too many years yet feel certain I was destined to live by.
Maybe I did once. Perhaps I will again.
As we begin a study of Marco Polo and I find words to fill sentences of fantasy and the past.
Fighting off those demons. Steering clear of that tear streaked closet corner (where I hide away when the darkness looms).
Keeping the flame lit and the lights glowing warm.
Scorching my fingers; illuminating the path ahead.