Thursday, May 18, 2006

Filial Piety

There's so much going on in my world now that I've become a bad daughter. My mother had surgery yesterday. Not a serious one, to remove a spur from her shoulder, but it was still serious enough to warrnat general anaethesia. I knew she was going in for surgery but it totally slipped my mind until I got a message from my brother saying that Mom was ok but was throwing up. Thought bubble in my mind was "why is Mom throwing up?" Then the thought bubble was replaced by a lightbulb. And then there was the "Oh Shit! I forgot!" feeling.

To atone for my sins, I went this morning. My classes start late today so I snuck in a 7.30 visit to Mom. She wasn't doing so good because she doesn't do well on morphine. So I just sat and chatted with her. The moment I walked into the room, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of my mother looking very small in the hospital bed. Hmmm, I must have grown very big to feel my mother tiny. I never thought about her that way before. Perhaps it's because I usually see her vertical and being vertical often adds height! It's difficult to see one's mother vulnerable and it dawned on me that I'm going to be seeing this more and more with my parents as they get older, weaker and afflicted with some health problem or another. Yet another issue that I have weighing down on my not very broad shoulders.

It's strange when it all builds up. You don't feel it when you are faced with the immediacy of the situation but when you sit back and have a think about it and it hits you, like a brick wall. All the issues that require your attention, in some form or the other, whether it's work or family or friends, whether it's physical, mental, emotional or psychological. It's all there, thinly veiled by the need to function and to go about one's daily routine.

I haven't broken down into a salty puddle of tears yet and I think i'm just tired. It's the end of term so I'm mentally exhausted from the teaching and countless papers I have graded or have to grade and I keep having to add more storeys to my house of cards.

So, I'm in need of a strong drink, or many drinks depending on how much alcohol it contains. It would be extremely interesting to be hung over at a College event Saturday morning. Perhaps some goth makeup to go with my dark eye rings. Hahah, that's one way to get the Guest of Honour to remember me.

Anyway, a moment of brevity this morning at the hospital was when I realised how much my mother's orthopedic surgeon looked remarkbly like my own brother. Perhaps all orthos are cut by the same cookie cutter. And when he addressed me personally and asked me if I was a doctor too since I was asking him questions that, unbeknownst to him were fed to me by my doctor brother.

For the briefest of moments, I wondered why I didn't become a doctor. I did think about it when I was younger. At one juncture, I had to decide- Humanities or medicine? Since my brother was just about to embark on his med school career, I figured he would be the one to wear the whitecoat. I turned coat on all my previous aspirations and went onto fall in love with history. My science teachers at school, were all very displeased with me.

So, here I am now. Not teaching humanities, not a doctor, not doing very much of anything actually. Just juggling. And I'm getting pretty good and keeping the balls in the air, despite my lack of hand eye coordination.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 14:15

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