Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Need a Break

The world truly seems to be going to hell in a hand basket. And I need a break. I just can't think about this anymore. I can't "put pen to paper" (in this not-too-literal sense) and comment on anything. There is just NO good news.

So, I will turn my attentions elsewhere until I can, once again, deal with the horrors that be.

I will deal with the hazards of growing old: assuming that any of us are going to be allowed to get any older--which seems to be in doubt now. And, I plan to tell you the stories of my family.

Here we go. As
I was changing the toilet paper roll this morning, an image popped into my head. My maternal grandmother struggling to get
together the spring loaded bar that holds the roll and, then, get the whole thing back into the holder, crying in frustration because she could not get it to go together.

Here was a woman who had supported herself and my mother since 1921. A woman who had taught in early Oklahoma schools where she was the teacher, the janitor, the coach, the school nurse and anything else that was needed. And had done it in years when married women and women with children did not work. (Well, technically she was not married; she had been, but my grandfather had gone missing when returning home from working. But, that's another story we may get to someday.)

This incredibly brave, heroically strong woman was in tears. Why?

She could not get the damn toilet paper holder to go back together.

True, now, we would know that she was probably beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's. In the 1960s, I never heard it mentioned.

What struck me enough at the time to make that indelible and returnable memory, was her utter dissolution by what had been, theretofore, a task she had accomplished hundreds, thousands of times. It also frightened me.

Old age is not for sissies.

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