Yesterday I had to take my grandmother to the bank. She thinks I'm in Toronto, but I'm in Montreal doing housesitting. She had to close the accounts of her late husband, my grandfather. I had a slight resistance towards going, but I had made a promise of sorts, with myself and with my grandmother, that I would take her to the bank, even if my presence was not required.
The gentleman at the bank was very proficient at treating Christine, I'd venture to guess he also has an older hot-tempered and brittle relative. We closed her accounts, got the contents of the security deposit box that my grandfather had at the branch, and we went back home.
My "bus" was leaving 6pm and we came back home a little before 4pm. I pleaded with her to have lunch, but she would sink in her chair, unwilling to even make the decision between soup and ensure. I said fine, let me prepare you a tea with honey and two cookies, at least you will have had something to eat.
I then filed the mail that had arrived since my departure. Nobody will know how to do this job: it comes from the mind of my grandmother, I simply started placing things were she told me, and I have good spatial memory, so I know for example that the insurance claim forms are in the right hand drawer of the desk, but that the insurance correspondence is in the drawer in the bedroom. It doesn't make any sense.
My grandmother gave me $100 for my services, and $100 as a gift. I tried to deny it, but in my heart I knew they were for me and I could not refuse, but I thanked sincerely and profusely, for it is a non-trivial amount of money for me at this time.
I made sure she is not losing weight (she is not), and she told me: "Oh Mark, it's been difficult, you never know what you have until you lose it". I felt no vindication, I shrugged my shoulders as if saying "that's the way it goes". We all tend to do that. We focus on the negative about people, about situations, about life. We take the good for granted.
In the last few days I've been complaining to myself that I cannot take my mind off Christine, in part because it is impossible to completely extricate yourself from the situation, just today a caregiver called and asked me very politely if Christine had Alzheimers. I said I couldn't tell, her case is strange, she is very oriented but then... amnesia. The caregiver complained about all the abuse and mistreatment she has received under Christine. I noticed it was strategically naive to do so, but I confided I knew exactly what she meant, that it would be a very difficult two weeks ahead, and that you can eventually regain footing in her eyes but it's a damn difficult job. That if she wanted out, I completely understood. She said she would try harder. I know she's on the chopping block.
And Christine still comes into my life. Last night my uncle called me "who is going to make the schedule for next week for Christine's caregivers?", "how is she going to make it to her appointments" and so on. Just leave me alone, I've been locked up 6 months with a deranged person and now you are all asking me to arrange her care? I can't do this anymore, it's designed to fail anyways!
So I left Christine's apartment and biked to yoga. I wasn't supposed to leave the pets alone for more than 6 hours yet this event would make it 7 and a half. I resented my situation: I can't go out more than 5 hours at a time, and yet I did this for six months only one day per week. I am not unlike my grandmother, fixating on what is wrong, I am lucky to be here and not with my grandmother.
Some days ago... was it yesterday? I was talking to René. I told him I still had some healing to do. "How do you know that you need healing?"--it's when your mind comes back and back to the same topic, you are picking at a wound. And here I am writing about it, as long as it serves a vomitive purpose, all is good.
It's still a splendid day, but it will get dark soon. Better give Sunny her walk.