Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Subject over quality

I'm reading a very badly written book about a hideous time in a Catholic boys' orphanage in Dublin back in the 50s.  It was run by the "Christian Brothers", who seemed to believe the old adage "Spare the rod; spoil the child" meant vicious beatings and sexual assault.  The writing level is barely livable, but I'm reading it for information more than anything else and in that, it's providing.  But it's obvious the author still has difficulty dealing with the subject...and considering the environment, I can't blame him.

I've been reading it while sitting in a room with my mother for hours at a time as she fitfully sleeps.  Sometimes she wakes and needs water or to be shifted into a better position.  And I try to be there when her lunch and dinner come to get her to eat something, and when her therapy is scheduled to get her to do it...but she fights against both.  the only food I seem able to get down her consistently are Rice Krispies and Kentucky Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes with gravy, though this evening she did eat a little chicken.  And she did do a few leg raises and foot moves.  But other than that she sits and dozes and reminds me of my grandmother towards the end of her life.

I'm torn here.  Sometimes I want to force her to eat and exercise so she'll get better.  Other times I can see it won't work.  She is too deep into her immobility to be able to get back to where she was when I was here back at the beginning of the year.  And I don't want her final days to be filled with pain, turmoil and tears.  Dying is a part of life, and she's already told me she does not want heroic measures taken to extend her existence on this planet.  I intend to honor that wish.

So I go from moment to moment dealing with each new situation as it arises, pushing mom as best I can without making her life hell.  Dunno how it's going, but decisions still have to be made.

To which Brendan responds, "Do they?"  And I know exactly what he means.

No comments: