I have an internal debate as to whether to broach the subject of his mother’s declining health?
On the one hand, she is his mother.
On the other hand, she is his mother.
It’s my birthday so I am older, we both are, and he has noticed that we are middle aged. It is a sad day for him. He is sad with frustration because Nonna’s new television doesn’t work, nor the TIVO, nor the fire alarm, nor any number of household items in disrepair. He worries greatly about these things in part because they are all fixable but other things are not. It is easier to worry about the unfixed things that are fixable. I would be inclined to say ‘denial’ but I’m not a very good American. Feeble Americans would say grief stricken. It’s not as if he doesn’t know. I know he knows. I heard him just yesterday in controlled yell mode, “where is your hearing aid?” But of course a hearing aid doesn’t mend hearing, nor does it restore memory, “I’ve just told you a hundred times, they are married.”
I glanced into the garden where my daughter and her partner sat cringing under the pergola.
There was a catch in his voice. I recognized that catch as I hear it coming out of my own mouth sometimes too. Sometimes it’s the catch of despair other times mere annoyance and I can tell the difference. I’ve had more practice, much more practice. I think I’ve already mastered controlled, cheerful yell for approximately 95% of the day, even when it’s night time. I’m working towards a 100% clearance rate but it’s not easy.
There are only two repeats that cut me to the quick. The first one is the ‘married? / who is that man?’ question and the other is the ‘are they still autistic?’ question, but I’ve learned my stock answer by heart, the words, the tone, the delivery and that helps a lot.
But it’s different for him. I have the degree of separation, no blood, but he’s her only child, very bloody. All the onus is on him, I’m just a bystander in the headlights. I don’t know how to get the balance right between interference and privacy? I’m on unfamiliar territory and the ground is shifting fast.
4 hours ago