Because Mom lives in a retirement village there is always someone in the hospital, or dead. All but one of the houses on her block are occupied by new people because one member of a couple passed away and the other moved into a smaller place. The one neighbor who is still there told her she she should have known it would be this way. She struggles with why this person died and not that person. She sends cards to hospitals and care centers. She drives people to appointments. She struggles but it does make sense when people of a certain age start to break down. Mom is the only one she knows on no meds. She needs more naps and she gets confused but she's doing OK.
The grandson of a friend hung himself this week. It's not the first time Mom had heard about mental illness and she is completely confused by it. I think it's more upsetting to her than death.
Last night I woke up because of pain wandering around my body. My hip. My elbow. My thigh. And always. My knees. I gave up on sleeping and finished an article I'd been reading in Harper's, a memoir by Clancy Martin about his father's mental illness. I was surprised how well it fit in with my other recent reading. I've been dragging my heels on Are You My Mother because I don't want it to end. Before I'd tried to sleep I'd read a bit of it in which A.B. mentions Winnicott putting a boy out of his house. Winnicott worked with orphans and took in one of them but when the child acted out in a negative way Winnicott put him on the porch.
In Winterson's memoir her adoptive mother puts her out on the porch as punishment.
I finally fell asleep but not deeply.
I did laundry today. I was thinking how things like mopping the floor and doing laundry are things that end up on a check off list of chores until you hurt. Everything is harder. Everything feels like a big bleepin deal.
I don't really get why Winnicott put the kid on the porch. Something about communicating a true self. I should probably read more about it. Winterson's mother was just mean and crazy.
Most of the time I think the only thing we can give each other is presence. I've failed at that a time or two.
Clean sheets. Clean sheets might make sleeping easier.