Motherless Child: Random Musings
This site is normally about food-- BBQ in particular. I hope to be able to cook some this weekend. I'd like to do a case of briskets. This would enable me to spend most of the weekend with my mother, which is what this post will be about. Anyone interested solely in food can scan down to the bottom.
She is lying in a hospital bed in the middle of the living room. A hospice nurse sits beside her, my father in the chair in front of her, with his back to her looking at the same huge tv screen that she is looking at. My brother is in one chair, my wife sits beside the nurse on the sofa, and I am standing, leaning against a wall and watching...fidgeting. I can't stop moving, have to be doing something. This is how we are waiting.
Time is running away from us. We all know it. There is an immovable wall between us and the future. There are facts of life, or living at least, that are immutable. Most of the time we force ourselves to ignore this. We build a wall inside of ourselves to shield us from the end but, like a Telltale Heart, the throb is constant.
All we can do is wait now. I took my father to Hill Country the other day and was able to introduce him to Big Lou, show him the pits and signatures of celebrities-- some of whom my father knew-- Mayor Koch, among others. He shook hands with the Owner, GM and others. They were saying all kinds of nice things about me, I have to admit, which made me and my father both proud, and I was humbled knowing that he would later report all this to my mother. Too bad Robbie wasn't there. One of the many uncontrollable imperfections of this all.
My mother was the one who taught me about diversity and tolerance, to be respectful to women and minorities; to hear the beauty in both paintings and music, dance and the theater. All of this was important to her. I knew she would appreciate the news from Hill Country because, in her youth, she mingled amongst rock stars and other celebrities that she met growing up in Brooklyn. I also took my dad and my brother for dim sum at Perfect Team Corporation because I knew how much they would enjoy it and the distraction.
My Father has enjoyed watching my modest successes because his family was always working on the fringes and, at times closer to the heart of politics and business in and around New York City. My father's mid-level profile in New York's power elite, which he in large part inherited from my grandfather, enabled my parents to continue to mingle their way through the Studio 54-era in New York City to the Hamptons where the most relaxed and familial spirit we knew inhabited our family. Where my father slumbered on a float in the pool with a mystery novel on his chest--face down--- and his sunglasses dangling on his face while my mother sat inside, half-watching a black and white movie while furiously working on the Sunday Times Crossword Puzzle. My brother, in his room, music forever playing and my sister on a beach with her dog who is exploring the surf. When asked about the movie, my mother, invariably wouldn't even know the title, just that it passed the time well with a bag of pretzels and the puzzle.
It didn't matter. Like none of this matters, in a way, right now, but it filled us with joy to be in our favorite place and, most importantly, together, as we are sitting in the living room with her, enjoying these desperately fleeting moments while we can still laugh and smile and share together...The way she wants it to be and the way we will always remember it........
Food Content: Click Here for the Slideshow of Day 2 at Perfect Team Corporation