Meditations for Queer Femmes – A Bit Befuddled

Today is my mother’s 89th birthday. The past couple of years have had some really rough patches in our family, what with me getting breast cancer, my dad dying, and of course, the pandemic. Before lockdown, my mom landed in the geriatric psych ward a couple of times, too. Perhaps she had latent anxiety all her life, I don’t know, but it didn’t manifest until her extreme old age. And she doesn’t really have dementia, but her memory certainly doesn’t work the way it once did. All my life, I was used to using her the way people use search engines now, asking her everything from how to spell words to what year something happened to the name of a book we both read but I’d forgotten the title — her memory was that sharp.

Now, she doesn’t remember what she had for breakfast, but she always tells me that the food is good. She can’t remember the name of the geriatric therapist who comes to see her twice a week, but she always says they have ripsnorting good conversations. She wouldn’t be able to tell me what’s happening in the book she’s reading, but she knows she’s enjoying it. She forgets words and has trouble saying what she wants to say, but always manages to get it out in the end. The other day on the phone, after I told her I love her and that we were sending love from our house to her, she said, “And I give it back to you and all your associates – love from me, lone, but powerful.” Funny thing: in our family we never used to say “I love you,” to each other – it was supposed to be a given, nothing we needed to get all emotional and soppy about. Now my mom and I say it to each other all the time. It’s nice.

When my father got Alzheimer’s, I had a really hard time connecting to him as he was rather than living in a constant state of regret, anger, fear, about how much he’d changed. Doing that made me want to avoid contact, instead of just be present for him, just listen and learn. When he died suddenly, I was much closer to being able to meet him where he was; I’m sorry it was such a long time coming. I hope I’m doing a better job with my mother. It feels like I am, actually. I know, because it really doesn’t feel like work or a job. It just feels like relaxing into a new phase of our relationship. One where we mostly just live in the love.

Relationships change, my glittery queer femme beauties, and life only lingers for so long. I wish for you loving connection amidst the change, because of the change, despite the change, as you surf the change… You are alive amidst that glory.  

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That is a place that requires getting to. Glad you did.

  2. Thank you, thank you! I’m so glad you stopped by! xottf

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