What a year.
The only thing I was sure of as 2013 wound down was that 2014 was likely going to be a very bad year, and I did not turn out to be wrong. I spent January and February watching my mother decline, with two hospitalizations, and then in-home hospice care. My sister took family leave, and eventually so did I, so one of us could be with her around the clock, especially after she fell the week after she was hospitalized for an infection. She passed away on March 6th. And I haven’t recovered from that yet.
We got the bare minimum of things done that fell due when she died, having the cremation done, cleaning out the apartment, putting things in storage. We haven’t had a service; we thought we would, but haven’t figured out how yet. We decided she had no need to set up an estate, as she had negligible cash. I guess most of the creditors have figured out what happened. I wrote and placed an obituary in the Detroit paper, because I thought it should be done.
But I say bare minumum; there’s a life insurance policy that I haven’t even cashed in (well, my share; my sister got hers). It’s not huge but it is money and I just can’t be arsed. I just can’t be arsed about anything, these days. I’ve forgotten how to do things for myself. Instead I sleep a lot, look at a lot of naked people on the Internet, and eat a lot of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. The house wavers between merely unkempt and a pit. I didn’t start going out anywhere till October and even then I can only really manage my friend Mike’s coffeehouse. If I were vaguely OCD, I could’ve probably counted on both hands how many times I played guitar this year, not counting Hiawatha. My fitness level declined to where it was when I started working out three years ago. The only Christmas decoration I had was a small ceramic tree with blinking lights. My dad got that from someone at the box factory forty-some years ago.
I am still in a gray fog. It doesn’t help that the weather has been largely a gray fog for the last month. In fact, this December will be the first with no measureable snowfall in Detroit in 125 years. It doesn’t help that the national and international news is all bad, all of it, and only getting worse. So many of my fellow citizens are bigoted, ignorant, and perfectly happy with corporate fascism and a worsening climate. And it doesn’t help that I still have another three months of one-year anniversaries of the worst of my mother’s final illness.
I will predict, though, that 2015 will be a better year. I think the fog will lift. I’ll find a way to retake some control of my life, to start rediscovering the joys. I’m not trying to inflict pressure on myself, but I just think things will change for me.
I’ll close with a list of some of the good things from this year, to reassure myself there were some. Not in any particular order:
- Going to the Hiawatha Music Festival, again, and seeing my Marquette friends, and old-time jamming
- Hearing the DSO play Rachmaninoff’s 3rd piano concerto with Dave in October, in a truly inspired concert.
- That Saturday in February, when Mom and I spent the morning drinking coffee and she told stories from her youth — happy stories.
- I played my first billed show in a year and a half, this December, and it went very well.
- My sister and I have become closer, putting away the problems we’ve had between us.
- I finally met my half-brother, from my dad’s 2nd marriage (my mom was his 3rd).
P.S. I plan on posting my usual end-of-the-year entries in the coming week. They’ll be a lot lighter.