Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't read anything into the date of this post.

Whether or not I blog seems to be related to what I feel comfortable revealing about my life; ultimately this is the story of me. The raw nature of this blog not withstanding, I am becoming more and more private as I get older. Therefore it is appropriate that I am staring down another birthday next week.
My big birthday plans include a friend-filled spring-cleaning party. It was their idea.


So, we are going to replace some light fixtures, throw out all the papers (or, more likely, have a huge bonfire) I haven't touched in a year, pack up some shit that has exceeded its expiration date, and change some rooms around. I am going to move into what is now the TV room (disadvantage: Near the street and noise/traffic. Advantage: fireplace). Sam can keep his room, and Thomas can move into my old room, giving the boys each their own room for the first time. I want to replace the ratty linoleum in my kitchen and the god-forsaken carpet in my studio. The breakfast nook in the kitchen has long housed computer stations/desks. This is going to be transformed into our eating area. The dining room will become the computer station area. I haven't yet figured out what to do with the television. Thomas is the only one who really watches it or uses it for the X-Box. I hate to have a television dominate my living room, but I also don't want it in my bedroom. I need another room! For all the stuff! Apologies to George Carlin.

What else? I haven't been going out in Kirksville very much this year. Sometimes I grab an early dinner at The Dukum with friends on Taco Tuesday night. Unfortunately, I have also been cocooning to the extent that there are friends (I'm looking at YOU, Renuncia, and YOU, Doug Steward) whom I haven't connected with when they've been in town (or in Renuncia's case, in yours). And some other friends who live on my very street and whom I do not see. I feel badly for this, and I will try to remedy this in the summer. I always have more energy when it stays light out, and I am at least more inclined to be sitting outside, where it is harder to hide.

I have just been processing the last year and simultaneously avoiding processing it by distracting myself with the Internets. It's not a perfect plan, but I think it's working. People, when they do see me, tell me I look good. I feel good. I go running. I need to get back to lifting weights. I know that what I need most of all is time. Time and time and time.

Sam is going to Truman in the fall. He is going to be living in the dorms. I postponed completing his housing application because I think I was hoping if I dropped the ball, he would have to live at home with me next year. Man-child picked up the ball and filled that damn thing out himself. Good for him.

Thomas has grown tall, quiet, and mature. He's really a joy. He has friends in the neighborhood he looks after and spends time with-- we call them "The ladies."

Christian is stumbling a bit. He really dislikes school, so I find myself taking him on a lot of walks and drives and checking in. He'll be fine, but things are a bit rocky for him right now.

And how, you ask, is Pat? Why, Jen, you have not complained about your mother once during this post. She must be out of town.

She is, in fact, out of town. But I miss her and I talk to her every day. That's right. I said I miss her. I know that seems impossible. But during the time that I have not been blogging, Pat has been changing slowly back into the self that I love. Her physician has done a remarkable job in towing the line with cutting out narcotics from her regimen nearly completely. She will be done completely in June. I have seen a remarkable change in personality and increase in her ability to manage some situations and entertain herself. She has been bored and depressed at times this winter. So have I. But I have, to my joy and surprise, a mother once again. I have walked into her apartment more than once only to immediately collapse in a puddle of tears, and she has comforted me.

Wow, I just made myself cry. Excellent good luck.

Last week, I went down to St. Louis to visit friends and go see William Shatner's one-man Broadway show.  I took Pat down and put her on a plane to go see her siblings in Zion Utah (What? How is that mean?). All she had to do was sit on the plane and then receive assistance in Denver changing planes. I felt some distress at saying goodbye to her, but thought I was just being sentimental. Well, she had an episode on the plane that was interpreted by those around her as a stroke. This landed her (completely alone) in a Denver Hospital. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???

She called to tell me this herself. She was slurring her words a bit and more confused than usual (which is really saying something, eh?). In spite of this, she was remarkably calm and in good spirits. The hospital nurses liked her. Matt and Heather drove down and took her to lunch and then got her onto a place to Salt Lake City after she was released from the hospital. She was gracious and remarkably lacking in drama in a situation that she otherwise would have used to a) get narcotics; b) milk the attention focused on her for all it was worth. Instead, she wanted to get out of the hospital and on her way. She was mildly irritated. But this is all a very big change for Pat.

She disagrees, but I still think she is beautiful.

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