Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Table is Rumbling . . .


Bobby the Cat

 Life has been interestingly boring-if that is at all possible. As ever, I find myself in the role of what the modern era has termed the "Super Mom." Amazingly, I recall having a conversation with Roland just before I found out I was pregnant with Oliver in which we lamented the fact that we were admittedly too selfish to have children. Therefore, we thought a perfect family included us and a few furry friends. Ha ha. Fate is hilarious, isn't it? Here I sit writing this with a few furry friends and three children.
Yes, the joke is on me.
Then, of course, as we age, so do our parents. As our parents age, our responsabilities to them increase. Well, perhaps some of that depends on your relationship with your parents.
Morrissey seems to have a great relationship with his mum. As most Morrissey fans know, he actually postponed part of his U.S. tour to be with his mum as she recovered from something she was hospitalized for. Like many who love Moz, I was sad that I did not get to see him when I thought I would, but I still get to see him perform and at least he is good enough to understand that some things are more important than money and fame.
On the other hand, from what I have read, Morrissey is not as close to his dad. And in this, I have something in common with dear Morrissey. In fact, there are probably many who have a similar kind of relationship with their fathers.
That's all well and good when you and your parents are younger. But what happens when they age and its just no use holding a grudge? How far should your loyalties go to a shitty parent?
This is a question I am faced with on a daily basis:
I was never close to my dad. He was a raging alcoholic and because of his drinking and smoking when he was younger, he developed mouth, throat and lymphatic cancer many years ago. I was living in Dublin, Ireland when we found out he had a 30% chance of surviving and because of that and because job prospects were pretty dismal in 1990, I left Ireland and came back home to California.
He survived, but lost the ability to eat properly. Because of all the radiation and the chemo he lost the ability to swallow. Therefore, he eats through a tube. He has had many surgeries and skin grafts so he does not even look anything like he used to.
Now, he has trouble walking-he shuffles and he lives on his own in a trailer park for elderly people with a cat named Bobby (see picture above).
Bobby has recently had a slew of health problems and I helped my dad out by paying for some of Bobby's treatment. But now my dad has gotten into debt in order to pay for Bobby's vet bills.
I don't want to bore you with all the details of how much driving around I do for my dad or the fact that he never calls except when he wants something. But, I guess if you are going to go into debt, let it be to keep your animal companions alive. It would have been cheaper for him to put Bobby down, but he saw the unfairness in that.
I did not mean to write so much about my situation, but let me just question about how much is too much or too little to give an old person when they have sucked as a parent? How much do you forgive so that you can go on with your own life with no regrets?

 Watching them thrash around in their old age is like watching animals hanging from a meat hook in an abittoir. There is no joy or satisfaction in that.
I had hoped to have written something more uplifting after not having written in so long, but perhaps it gives you some insight as to part of the reason I have not written.
Ah well, it makes me look forward to seeing Morrissey in Chicago and LA even more.