One feature of being here at Mom's house is that I'm back in the area I grew up in again. I'm being reminded of the way things used to be all around.
Late last night, a moose came around the side of the house outside my window and started eating Mom's raspberry bushes. I heard it out there and looked out the window right at a big, hairy moose-rump. After watching her for a few minutes to see if it looked like she was going to try to tear down the winterizing frame around them (she didn't; she delicately inserted her muzzle into the top of it to keep eating) I went back to bed.
That may sound weird to people who didn't grow up with large undomesticated herbivores with uncertain tempers running around wild. They're nothing new or particularly interesting around here. The old canes needed to be cut-back anyways before I got the straw packed in around them, and believe me, trying to tell a 1000-pound adult female moose what to do is both foolhardy and an exercise in futility. Unless they're going to hurt someone or get hurt, you just let them do their thing and then you do yours. Even the neighbor's dog knew better than to get too upset about it.
I went out into the backyard this morning to call into a phone meeting for my Daily Planet job, and while I was there I went and looked at that corner of things. She did an awesome job. Took the whole row pretty evenly down to the depth of her nose below the top of the frame, which is just about perfect.
I'm still here in Alaska, and things are drifting through limbo in a gentle, downward sort of direction.
The pain is getting worse, and the medications aren't handling it as well as they used to. She doesn't even want to watch her TV anymore, and for her that's a real symptom. She has moments where she speaks clearly, but it's a crap-shoot as to whether or not what she says has anything to do with what's going on. She doesn't really know where she is. She doesn't recognize her own home.
I'm trying to keep her partner's spirits up, but that's hard. He's on the edge of tears all the time.
I wish I was. I'm stuck being calm and wise and all that. I'm so worried about everyone else, but I can't even look at how I feel. It's not a won't. It's a can't. I know it will come. I guess I should be grateful for the clarity right now. But I'm not.