Of Omas and Apples and Numerical Naughtiness
At 2am, In an MSNweight conversation with my dear sister, I decided to join her, my mother and my uncle on a trip to Brampton's venerable Holland Christian Homes. The purpose of our visit was either to enjoy the best lima-bean salad in the Greater Toronto Area, or to visit our Oma. OK, guess.
The visit with Oma went well. We saw her, she saw us. She communicated with my mother and uncle. They relayed that she was glad to see us. We nodded and smiled appropriately.
True to form, I found something to fix. Actually, I went a little crazy. I fixed the leg on the back of a family photo so that it would once again stand on its own. I installed and configured her new "Extreme 40db Ampliftying Telephone" because Oma is getting rather "doof" these days. I found sticky name-labels to identify her various wheelchair accesories as her own. Put up a handy reminder note for those stafflings who are responsible for getting her out of bed in the morning. Tried to fix her electronik supersonik adjustible recliner.
Of note was her comfortable recognition of her own mortality. Specifically, when I brought to attention a candle-shaped-like-a-bear that is a bona fide family heirloom, she asked (through her translators) if I wanted it when she died.
Uhh, weird. I don't talk like that. My friends don't talk like that. There is no recognition, beyond the academic point, that people die. I wonder if she noted my discomfort at her question. She didn't shelter her offer in a nest of hems and haws. She didn't dull her point with forced levity. Out with it, in a manner free of self-delusion.
Why does her death scare me? Because it highlights the inevitability of my own death? Why did I edit the previous sentence half-a-dozen times to ensure the tone wasn't too dark? If indeed we have any comfort in death, why must we run so hard from it?
I know I'm not raising any novel questions. I know I'm not even close to having "learned my lesson," but in the light of Mr. Postma's recent post, I thought it bore reflection.
This, I think, is why we need to visit Omas.
Got back to Hamilton safe and sound. Decided to stop by Light Computer Centre on Locke Street. I'd been there once before to get acquainted with Macs and to make inquiries for Steph (the one looking to buy an iBook). Lo and Behold, there appeared in Applish Glory as if illuminated by Halogen, the mystical iBook Within Budget™. Later I visited the VanKampen-Zantingh-Biesheuvel Blended Familyspace and reported to Stephanie all that I had seen and heard. Verily, her excitement is great.
The downside of all today's activities has been that while I was "shushing" the smoke detector in the kitchen, I somehow knocked my watch from the counter to the tile floor. The crystal, band, clasp are still in fine shape. Strangely enough, the shiny silver digits inside the watch have come unstuck. The Two from the top of the dial has taken hold of the second hand, and is choking it with every fibre of its being. the Three and the Six are engaging in all kinds of kinky behaviour at the bottom of the dial and the Nine has ascended to the Higher Realm, making noon appear Nineteen O'clock. I do hope a jeweller can fix this. I really do.
This post bubbled to the surface on Tuesday, July 27, 2004
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