I have nothing to hide around here but every now and then I’ll find an errant talisman or remnant of a female visitor. Could be an earring-back that has languished in the corner for god only knows how many years. I do have a small lost-and-found cache of items too valuable to throw away but not valuable enough to call around and ask former lodgers if they might be missing a bauble. I did though, in the midst of sorting out shoes in my bedroom, stumble upon these little shoddings amidst Gucci and R.M. Williams. Who in the world might have padded into my chamber and left these behind? Do tell.
I dawdled for a bit with South of Broad before getting fully sucked in but when I did-I was as usual-completely caught up in the Conroy craziness. I’m a language dilettante so the much criticized style of Conroy and…that of Tom Wolfe’s fiction by the way…is fine by me. I love Conroy and his latest takes me back home to South Carolina and Charleston particularly. To that end-I resurrect (or re-run as my erudite buddy Tintin calls it) my Charleston post from the summer.
Robert E. Lee stated that “Duty is the most sublime word in the”. I did my duty as a son last week in . LFG and I spent a week doting on my mom. She’s seventy eight years old-lives alone and does a pretty good job of managing lupus-a very ugly chronic disease of the immune system. She remains fairly independent-Still drives her car and steadfastly refuses to move out of my childhood home and into a “retirement villa”. Trust me, we’ve tried.
Miyamato Musashi in teaches that “there are walled cities that aren’t meant to be attacked”. My sibs and I have long since given up on attacking the wall of resistance that our mother has mounted regarding a move out of her home. I understand it. All of her identity is attached to her home-she raised three of us there. Outlived two husbands there. She’ll only leave kicking and screaming.
The lupus has ravaged her physically. A once beautiful woman with dark hair and blue eyes-she’s a frail shell of her physical self now.
Understand that I love my mother-like all Southern boys. Like all good boys I suppose-it’s not a regional thing. However, I have to gear up for these visits. My reservoir of emotional resolve and what Thich Nhat Hahn, the Buddhist monk so aptly defines-loving kindness, was at an all time low. Mostly because I’d just come off of that manic ass two week business jaunt and hadn’t really replenished the reservoir from that effort. (God-I know you are listening. I’m not complaining-I know how blessed I am. I’m just stating facts) Additionally, I have to get LFG prepped for these visits. My sister has four kids and they had a different “Grandma Frances” than LFG has. My mom was younger and healthier and was able to really engage with them. The “F” in LFG is Frances so they do have a special connection. However, I have to let LFG know that my mom can’t move fast-that she gets fatigued easily-that she may have to go to bed during the day and finally, that we can’t go and visit her and then leave her alone while we visit friends. It’s a tall order for a nine year old who doesn’t understand chronic disease.
I have to say that LFG once again demonstrated to me what a child we’ve been blessed with. Not one time in five days did she complain about anything. She was lovely to say the least. She was so sweet to my mother-even though my mom who is hard of hearing and slow moving can’t engage but to a certain degree. Lupus is a mutha of a disease. I told LFG a million times on the way home how proud I was of her. I mailed her a letter with a surprise in it before I left for NJ this week-recognizing again her maturity and kindness.
Mom and LFG on the verge of giddying up for a Charleston Carriage Tour.