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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Another maudlin entry

In addition to my health issues and those of my one sister (cured of Hep C but recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism) and the other sister (HIV+), TAís momís lung cancer, Harrietís dadís gastroesophageal cancer, another friendís out-of-the-blue stroke, and the recent illnesses of countless friends, itís a wonder Iím even sane. Every time I think things are going along swimmingly, there is more distressing news.

A few people have said, ďHey, youíre in your 30s, this is the age when shit like this starts happening. Get used to it.Ē I am becoming so accustomed to the uncertainty of EVERYTHING in life, that I donít think I will ever feel comfortable again. If I ever didÖ

So, my older sister and I are freaking out about our parentsí trip to Macchu Picchu. They leave on October 20th, a day after my insane Libra of a motherís birthday. I need to call my younger sister to see if she is panicking at all.

As you know, my father has not been in the best of health. Gall bladder removal, hernia surgery and a skin graft on his private parts notwithstanding, he is a reasonably healthy 75 year old. I donít even know what that means, really, but I guess what Iím trying to say is that heís an active senior: his brain continues to fire on all pistons, he goes to the opera and to the ballet, he volunteers at the Film Festival, he goes to the gym, he cooks and travels and is in general, a happy person.

One of the main things he has going for him is that he knows his limits. If in climbing the Andes, he begins to feel bad, I know he will listen to the signs, slow down or ask someone for help. His ego will not get in the way.

My mother, on the other hand, is not like that. In fact, she may be the total opposite and this is what is troubling.

Aside from the fact that she is psychotically competitive and will sacrifice health and mental stability to prove to everyone around her that she is perfect, she is just not fit. She is overweight (Sorry WeightWatchers. That whole point system? It doesnít really work for people who believe the person with the MOST POINTS WINS) and has been on and off steroids for her asthma for years. She participates in all of the same social activities as my father, but in spite of being retired and being able to finally do whatever the hell she wants to do and enjoy herself, she is still a miserable angry person. She is all egoóthe ego of an unhappy, emotionally abused kid.

Or maybe this is just the side of her that I and my sisters bring out? She is never nastier and more ill-tempered than when we are around. We must be the rivals she can never vanquish?

I call my parents every weekend, more or less, to say hello and see whatís going on. I do this out of filial obligation; itís not as though I like it. Well, maybe I should modify that by saying that if I could just talk to my father, I would probably call more often. Heís fun to chat with. My mother when she gets on the phone is unpleasant and likes to vaunt herself as great but not to reassure meóno, she boasts to make me feel insignificant.

My older sister has a tenuous grasp on filial duty. She doesnít call every week. But then, her relationship with my parents has always been more difficult than mine, and she has gone through far more phases of abject silence than anyone in our family. And with reason.

She hasnít heard from my parents since late August when she left a voicemail for my fatherís birthday. Itís been over a month, and neither of my parents has called her back. I hate thinking of relations as tennis matches, but technically the ball has been in my parentsí court for a while. But knowing my mother, there is no court unless weíre talking about a Royal Court in which she is the Queen and all must fall and bow to her. Why should she pick up a phone?

Anyway, my older sister is worried that one or both of my parents are going to drop dead on this trip, and she will regret forever and ever not having talked to them. The decision was pretty obvious to make. She is going to call them, of course. No amount of stubborness or disappointment over hundreds of inequities trumps just SUCKING IT UP. My sister, unlike my mother, knows that.

I didnít realize how anxious I was about their trip until I had a nightmare that woke me up. In it, I entered my parentsí house and called their names. When no one answered, I yelled a little louder. Then hearing noises from above, I climbed upstairs to find my father in the bathroom, scrubbing the floor with Ajax and looking totally dazed.

ďHey, didnít you hear me calling your name?Ē

Father: No, I didnít hear anything.

Me: Whereís mom?

Father: (dazed, blank face)

Me: (louder) Whereís mom?

Father: (confused, empty look)

Sorry about how pathetic and sad this entry is. I just needed to get this out so I can focus on the other ten million things cluttering up my wee pea brain.

2:01 p.m. - 2005-10-11

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