Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cap and Gowns

It's been a century since I last wrote on this thing.  Lots of computer problems, work schedules and old lady exhaustion.  Forgive me.

So, what's happening now.  My mom is back in the nursing home and has begun to eat again, a very good sign.  They drag her, kicking and screaming, to PT (Pain and Torture...uh...Physical Therapy) and make her lift her swollen, rust red legs, bend her wobbly knees, and hit a balloon back to the therapist.  Her arms have gone from coal black to purple and red, which they tell me is an improvement.  Her skin no longer looks like greasy plastic wrap.  She gets lots of praise, which she enjoys immensely.  Her mind is severely affected by the low oxygen blood saturation; sometimes she knows me, sometimes she doesn't.  The nurses and staff adore her, which is also a very good thing, and she can speak to me for five minutes at a time before she runs out of breath.  One day she's very depressed, the next deliriously happy.  She's happiest when she can just lie in bed and watch basketball.  In spite of her having very little short term memory, she still knows everything about all the basketball players.  That's a big comfort to me.

We've been very busy at the restaurant; everybody has been given gigantic schedules and even the maniacs who work six days a week can't take it anymore!  But graduations are finally at an end so it should slow down some.  I went for two six day stints in a row and felt myself starting to go into one of my crashes so gave away two shifts this week, which gives me four days off in a row to regain my strength and hopefully NOT crash.  I slept the first two days for the most part.  Today, I cleaned the house from top to bottom and baked bread.  Baking relaxes me. 

I saw beautiful, beautiful things these past two weeks.  Tiny kindergarten graduates in their teeny tiny cap and gowns, glowing as they gobble macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and french fries, fringe swinging from their lopsided caps.  Young middle school graduates, shyly proud and subtly nervous about the change ahead, high school graduates champing at the bit to be out and off to college, puffy-chested with the swell of adulthood.  I grin and congratulate, telling them, "You've spent all this time preparing your future.  Now go get it."  I watch the old timers smile their tissue paper smiles, reminiscing and happy to see the new generation taking the reins for whatever lies ahead.  So much promise, so much hope; even in the exhausting job of waiting tables, one becomes almost drunk with it.  I love when a person's batteries of hope are almost drained, only to be filled up again by a parade of shining faces.  Whatever they faced to get to where they are now, is in the past.  They'll drag along baggage, stumble and fumble and fuck up, but they'll keep going.  The comforting thought is that so many of them will make it.  They'll go on to the next level, they'll graduate, or they'll find a new path and walk it for a time.  But they'll all keep walking.  Even if they hit road blocks, fall down and decide to lay there for a long time, they'll eventually get up again.  Because they have these moments to draw on.  These shining moments to remember.  They will always have them, deep inside, where they can draw on when times get rough.  All they have to do is access the golden things.  Oh, it's been an exhausting, maddening, miraculously beautiful two weeks, my friends.  All those faces.  Golden moments for me to draw on for the rest of my life.  Take care.

Love, R

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