Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My New Car and news of Alice

When Carrie and Gabe came up for the fourth, they brought Carrie's old car for me. She got a new one and offered to let me have the one she has had for several years. I am already in love with it---it so so much nicer than anything I have had for a long time. In fact it has some luxuries I have never had, such as air conditioning, a CD player, a moon roof. It has a lot of miles on it, and it burns oil, so there may be major problems with it. Nevertheless, I have adopted it with all my energy. I asked the mechanic yesterday about the oil, and he didn't seem overly pessimistic. I will take it in for him to look at when next I have some money. Meanwhile, I am cruising back and forth to Bangor in air conditioned comfort. The car feels like a sports car to me, hugging the road. I love the five-speed transmission.

My trips to Bangor have been to visit Alice at the rehabilitation center where she is now staying. She is finally getting better, but it is a very long and hard recovery. She is so thin that I wonder how she can stand up. She does, in fact, have to use a cane. She still has oxygen all the time and drags the tank behind her when she walks. Physically, she barely resembles the woman I knew as my therapist. Her hair is cropped very short and straight for ease of care and to help with the heat. It is a difficult situation for me, reconciling the Alice from before and the Alice that I know now. Although the way I knew her is still very much in evidence, there is now another dimension to her. I see her interact with her caretakers and see a soft, vulnerable person who still manages to command respect and maintain control. She holds on to her dignity so admirably that I am in awe.

I am so glad that she is recovering, and yet I know that every day that passes brings us closer to the move to her daughter's and out of my life. I see her getting stonger and I rejoice, while at the same time I dread her leaving me with such fervor that her incapacity is almost my salvation. It's a hard thing to think about, and I try not to.

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