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'Checkpoint' day
   A very big 'Checkpoint' day yesterday where a parent's possible terminal medical crisis involving my sisters (the older of whom is Glory-esque, I'm persuaded she maintains the appearance of sanity solely by draining brains) made me recognize, as I'd never realized previously, that I have the power in this balance -- something I've never wanted . . . but a huge responsibility had been placed on me & when I firmly insisted that the decision that would be taken in the crisis would be mine, no matter how much input I had, and that I'd bear whatever consequences came, the lid blew off & one sis simply instantly decided that I was intolerable, power-made & dangerous, and the other was only slightly less p.o.'d . . . but it was literally a life-and-death decision & it tipped the balance in favor of life when my siblings were prepared to see our mother go gentle into that good night. Some other collateral issues came along which brought home the same reality & and it was strange to be standing there in stylish-yet-affordable boots (well, not that stylish) coming to Buffy's 'Checkpoint' realization . . . and it was a bit alarming to see the all-too-typical response to death is submission rather than resistance, that it's more comfortable for people to cluster together in mutual helplessness before the inevitable rather than (shifting seasons & metaphors) heading back to the Vineyard to confront the scary villain (pain, suffering, inevitable defeat 'You can't win', etc.).  It also brought home why, vis-a-vis gab's post, why Buffy gets grief from fans -- it's all very pleasant when Buffy is slaying vamps & reversing certain bits of old stereotypes, but when the fundamental wisewoman-gathering-all-protectively-round-the-hearth stereotype is struck down, that's altogether dicier . . .   



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I'm saddened to hear about your mother's illness.

More abstractly--and forgive me if this is too personal--do you think that your sisters' reaction would have been different if there was a man in the family making the same decision? Or is it simply a response to anyone making a difficult decision (to go fight Caleb) that they don't want?

Thank you so much -- mom's always been strong like an amazon & was just a bit too early for things she'd liked to've done. Most of all she'd liked to have been an astronaut -- "Contact" is one of her favorite films & she identifies so with Jodi Foster in it.

That's a really good question, hard to answer because our family was a complete gynarchy -- gynanarchy is more like it -- from the get-go. Now it's got me thinking about gender roles in single gender families (my dad being almost as neutral a figure as Bartleby the Scrivener) . . .

Mainly, tho', it was their dislike of knowing that I do know our mom best & also not quite grasping the mix of the intuitive & inductive in my mind/spirit. Despite both being clever & witty, both are literal-minded -- and I'm deciedly not (something often attributed to their being Aquarians to my Cancer). A

I saw Contact again recently, admittedly out in an outdoor showing with lots of noisy people and so not the best way to see it, but aspects that I had been a little too young to sink in before--Jodie Foster's determination, drive, curiosity, scientific inquiry--stood out this time. She seems like a good character to identify with.

I'm showing my small literary cred, because I don't quite get the Bartleby reference--do you mean that your father refused to do anything?

This is a little to the side, but my grandmother is ill these days and has recently moved into a retirement home, and I see how difficult it is for my mom and her siblings to deal with different views on how to deal with her property being sold off, and lots of different agendas, some innocent and genuine disagreements about what is best for grandmother and some, I suspect, of a more self-centred nature. At any rate the gap of understanding between my grandmother and her children, and between my mother and her siblings, seems to be widening under the stress of the situation.

The Bartleby reference meant that my dad was silent & hard to decipher -- and in the end, he has to be moved from the office as if he were furniture.

Sickness divides us. Death can (if circumstances are right) unite us -- that is, when the loss is really past and not staring everyone in the face. Survival, fear & the matter of power all are suddenly thrown into play like never before -- and basically, one needs one's mommy & so those deepest instincts come into play, to monopolize her because one's most powerful least rational emotions insist that any love given to anyone else is abandonment . . .and the abandonment is really & present.

I'm sorry your mom may be losing her mother . . . and that your grandmother had to move into a retirement home.

I like what you've written here very much, though I have sadly little to add.

I'm sorry your mom may be losing her mother . . . and that your grandmother had to move into a retirement home.

Thanks very much. I think that my grandmother is fairly stable. She has Parkinson's and some dementia, which is not terrible when she takes her medication at the proper time; left to her own devices, she will forget once, and then lose all track of time and be overwhelmed by hallucinations. I don't think she likes being in a home per se, but I don't think anyone is in a position to be on hand at any point during the day or night and this is what she needs. I'm not sure that my mom will be losing her mother any time soon...but it's hard to say, and depends on how soon is "soon".

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