when my “stuff” is not together

Bloggers are supposed to have their “stuff” (or whatever word signifying one’s essential wherewithal) together.

Via Facebook, people, responding to a delightfully open-ended, non-directive question (What’s on your mind?), typically share with family and friends and cyber-kinships latest news, meditative musings, and flash, succinctly-expressed observations of life in this world. Not quite so with blog posts. There, often, writers pose a real-world problem or issue (something nearly universal; the sort of thing that sizable numbers of folk encounter), present a position, provide (putting their best proverbial feet forward) a rational perspective, and speak from a salient standpoint or newfound insight (sometimes so novel that one’s readers guffaw with a gladsome “Aha!”, a contemplative “Hmmm,” or if, when the viewpoint is not so fresh, innovative, or unique, then with an “OK, that’s not the worst or most insubstantial thing I’ve ever read”).

At least this is what I think bloggers are doing. And in this, we’re supposed to have our “stuff” together (or so I thought). Except when we…I don’t.

Today, I write because I need to write, to share, as much for myself as for anyone, my disquieting lack of clarity.

My mother, Lolita, her name (despite the readily instant association with the 1955 Vladimir Nabokov novel of the same title that scandalized my mother!), from the Spanish, meaning suffering (how sadly fitting), is a long-lived Alzheimer’s disease patient. First diagnosed in March 1996, her trek, to coin another literary phrase, though one dealing with different sets of maladies, though, too, one highlighting the often daily repetitious downward spirals of human living, in Eugene O’Neill’s words, has been a long day’s journey into night.

In mid-October, I enrolled my mother in hospice. The admissions officer was compassionate, listening sympathetically to my concerns, comforting me in my anguish, and competent, explaining with kindly attention and care the procedures and protocols.

Yesterday, at the end of a lengthy conversation with the hospice nurse – considering that the daily nutrients provided via my mother’s feeding apparatus were keeping her body alive and believing (truly, having known for quite the while) that she never would resume sentient consciousness, which would be her definition of “quality of life” – I inquired about removing the G(gastric)-tube. With so much to contemplate, the information-gathering consultation is scheduled for early next week.

Informing the owner and the primary caregiver of my mother’s assisted living residence, I was apprised of the latter’s strong objections to any action that would lead to the termination of my mother’s life. “I am a Christian,” she said, “and only God can give life and take life.”

Amid a swirl of conflicted thoughts and feelings, none accessorized with easy-to-operate instructions or ready resolutions, I, whose “stuff” is not together, ponder what is next. I, too, a Christian, pray for goodly, Godly guidance.