Rendered Fat Content


Twenty five days into this adventure and I’m almost smothering on change. Sure, I’m still reveling in the familiar differences of my oldest digs, and I’ve been digging in the most familiar dirt, but the sideshows seem to threaten to overwhelm center stage. Look, it was straightforward. I’d watch The Grand Other, maybe putter around in the yard a bit, but The Other claims some mornings, “I don’t want to be babysat!”

”Okay,” I respond, “then we’ll grandpa sit today. You watch me.” And she does.

I am a foreign element here, almost foreign to myself. I maintain an almost monk-like regimen, up well before the sun, down long after it leaves. This requires no real discipline since I’m doing what I love, though sometimes to excess. This probably violates no rule of universal comportment, adhering to the ‘eat to excess whatever’s in season’ rule. These activities seem to simultaneously ripen.

My mom last week moved from an assisted living apartment into a more acute care nursing facility, aka a nursing home. This will become no rehabilitative relocation, for nobody believes she will regain the faculties Parkinson’s has been stripping from her for two decades. She claims this move was the worst decision she ever made, though she didn’t make it. Her doctor did, and she’d been out-stripping the meager assisted living staff’s resources for a very long time.

Big change seems often proceeded by a collusion among the principles to preserve the delusion that the old status quo continues. Families prefer their matriarchs to be living independently, no matter how dependent they might become, and facilities, even those housing elderly, despise churn among their resident population. Once this delusion pops, universes crash in upon themselves, and everything’s suddenly, surprisingly different.

I suppose we all fly despite conditions suggesting we should keep our feet planted on the ground, and find reason enough to complain about fate when the downside overtakes us; forgetting in that moment how high we’ve soared and how much we could never have discovered without chancing some spare change. We blunder into greatness or never achieve it.

I am still adding to my most recent accomplishments but feel preoccupied with the pursuits which have yet to produce any result. I have developed a taste for gas station decaf, fresh peaches, and lazy afternoons avoiding the heat of the day with an inquisitive four year old. Today we discovered a horse chestnut and tried to persuade a squirrel to pick up our offering, though he preferred to chatter from a high branch. I pushed my legacy on a swing, and she bend back so far she caught a glimpse of me waiting to push her higher from behind.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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