Mar. 11th, 2006

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Today would have been my mom's 62nd birthday. Don't really have much to say about it, other than I keep missing her at odd times. Tomorrow I'll probably stop by Guy's - his 74th birthday was earlier this week, but I really didn't know how to mark it. I mean, "Happy Birthday!" seems like a pretty inane thing to say to somebody's who's dying.

Have been hearing back from people I've contacted about Guy. My father sent me an e-mail, as have a few of my Chilean relatives, and my stepmother from Greece. I really need to contact Maruja and her family. I'll probably try to get their number when I go see Guy.

I had the worst deja vu last night and this morning, and a visceral reminder of why I hardly ever answer my own phone any more. When my mom was sick, I started to dread answering because of three particular people who would call and suck away time and emotional energy when I had the least to spare. I had an almost Pavlovian stomach-sinking reaction to the sound of their voices saying my name. One high and whiny and in Spanish, "Jimeniiita?" another kind of... I don't know, depressed sounding, Generic European Accent, "Jimehna," and the last sort of low and histrionically mushy and faux-concerned, "Jimmy, my darling, how are you?"

It got to where every time I would pick up the phone, I would be telling myself Oh please don't let it be Whiny, please don't let it be Whiny, she'll ask me detailed medical questions and want to discuss every single ache and pain of cancer in the world - and I would get a moment of relief before recognizing Depressed, when the stomach-sink would kick in. So the next time I'd think Oh please don't let it be Depressed, please, please, I can't deal with her platitudes and the awkwardness of trying to talk to her even though I have absolutely nothing to talk to her about - and I'd get the same brief relief before the stomach-sink of Mushy kicked in. So the next time I'd think - well, you get the picture.

Funny how my own name kept inducing feelings of absolute despair. It's not a nice feeling.

Well, yesterday I picked up the phone to Whiny, and this morning got a message from Depressed. Oh god. But I'm taking comfort from the fact that Mushy will never, ever talk to me again. It's a very nice feeling, actually, as the last conversation I ever had with Mushy involved her screeching at me, over the phone at 11:00PM the day before my mother's funeral, "We wanted to come and show our LOVE and RESPECT for your MOTHER!!!"

Thank god for small favours. Actually, that's a pretty large favour, now that I think of it.

My mom and I could have talked about this for hours.

OK. Going to bed now.

November 2012

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