November 16, 2009

Leave it to God




The old white bookcase in the livingroom. Tim’s painting, Pico the cat on the bed, and Grandma’s basket under the parson’s table. 1979, Volume 7.



Himself: Went to Ikea for a small cupboard for his tchotchkes. Installed white bookcase, moved sofa….another words, he reinvented the living room. Meeting; bed.

Herself: Dusted and moved books. Meeting; bed. Talking with Bee first thing.

The Old White Bookcase: The bookcase was a battered old, four shelf case that used to be broken down and used as a packing crate by my grandma. Grandpa was a College Professor, that's how grandma put it, and she says they moved often. By the time I met it, the shelves were filled with books. Later, when grandma was forced to move in with mother, mother cut one shelf off. From 66 to 1997, it was one of my primary bookcases. Since we moved in here, it lived in the garage. Oh, the downfall of this poor bookcase. :)

Balance: Seeing so much stuff clean when we got up.

Mage's Medicare News: Ronnie has posted a little story about my adventures, and you can read it here with updates in the note section.

1978:

June 19:
It has been ten days since I have written in my journal. They have been days of sheer hell with Lessa. I don’t think I have cried so hard for many, many years.
There was a landmark visit to the shrink where I was able to see my own needs for caring, love, and attention as a major factors in my life. The alcohol and drugs are just addictions that grew out of this need, he tells me. We talked of my family, and how I would have liked to have known my father. Just talking about it made me cry, as did talking about my grandmother. For her it was tears of missing her.

(They didn’t know about the genetic component or discuss the disease component with patients at this time.)


July 23:
Potluck block party day. The invitation list grew from 28 to 53.

Thank God, Fran came down from Santa Cruz early to help. Without him, I would have been lost. Lessa went to Chula Vista to spend the night with Jo, and Lenora stayed preoccupied with getting their room cleaner than any room had ever been in the annals of human kind. We cleaned and tidied and were worn out and nervous sitting outside collapsed in the sun when it was time for the party to start. When the first of the fifty-three guests arrived, we pulled ourselves back from the brink.

What wonderful happy masses of humanity came to share the day with us. Such beautiful food dishes they all brought with them. The evening was a haze of gorgeous people passing through the yard and house. Marie fell in love with Robert. I discovered the bearded Raul, and the Judge was the hit of the party with Duck running a close second. Jo got in an argument with Miles…for she loves his work and he can never remember her name.

The crowds stayed late, but the conversation never flagged. Friends stayed to help clean up afterwards and that’s the true measure of a party’s success. Then in the morning, several friends returned to help finish cleaning up the house and yard. Fran, still delightfully drunk, managed to wash most of the dishes.

Everyone has gone home now. I have posted a sign on my door that says, “Go away! Last week was for partying; this week is for work. I am painting. No matter how pressing your business nor how important your emergency, there is NO reason to interrupt me. Leave me a note. I will respond eventually. This house will again be open to visitors at ‘wine time’ on Friday.”

September 12:
Just as I was making the rounds to shut the house down for the night, I heard screaming outside the kitchen door. Nosy old lady that I am, I ran outside to find out what was happening.

There was neighbor Dorothy feet in the air, flailing and screaming, head first inside the pomegranate bushes under our windows. Joan, the little old drunken woman who lives on the far corner of the block, was being restrained by some big men and while she was screaming at Dorothy. I pulled Dorothy upright and started walking her down the sidewalk. All the screaming woke the kids, and their heads came popping out the windows. I called them out to help me, and I am so glad they came.

Dorothy was in the never-stop-crying stage of drunkenness, covered in blood, and yelling that Joan had taken her dog and wouldn’t give her back. While I brought Dorothy into the kitchen to clean her up, Milaka found the dog...quite easily, she said. Two other neighbors Al and Wally were also up by this time, so we all walked Dorothy home. We had to break into her house. She had lost her keys and purse. We tucked her in bed. Afterwards, when we stood for a moment outside her apartment talking, out of the corner of my eye I saw two men approaching. I just thought they were two drunks coming home from the bar. They said hi to me, made an abrupt turn, and began attacking Al and Wally with a knife and hatchet. I watched this frozen for what seemed like minutes, and then I did a rather precise about face intending to hide at Al’s. It is amazing how clear memories of such moments are.

Dorothy suddenly awoke.

“What’s happening out there,” she yelled as she lurched toward the door.

I could just see her getting her head axed, so I quickly squeezed by the fighting and got her quieted down. Just then, Al said something golden that calmed the men down. The two men were Joan’s sons come to avenge their drunken mother. We tucked Dorothy in again, found Joan, and got her tucked in several times, and all ended up in my kitchen drinking hard cider until about three.

October 20;
Lessa cannot stay with her father. She will not go to a therapist any longer. She will take no suggestions. My problem is that I have no life of my own any longer because of my involvement with hers. Dorothy says that when things get so bad there is nothing more you can do, you have to leave it to God.

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