Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thanked thedad for thesads

It was themum's birthday recently; she would have turned 75. I called thedad to commiserate (slash) celebrate and he told me he'd sung "Happy Birthday" to her photo that morning (1).

I talked about my recent medical appointments and how I'd had to give the family history of depression from the male line. 

Then I thanked him for those genes; "without that depression we wouldn't have cared as much about what we did". That while the black dog stalked the boys that gave us power along with despair to make our environments better. My dad did that his entire life—volunteered to improve his community—and my brothers have done it in every place they've worked. 

Our black dog makes us fight for what is right and it's better to have tried to leave a mark—driven on by our brain chemistry to dare because of despair—on the world and failed than not to have left a mark at all.

While my mother didn't have the gene that gave despair she succumbed to the gene that ran down the maternal line that stole her mind; she spent her last three years in full-blown dementia. But fuck me if she didn't live the snot out of her life—and she came of age in the early-'60s when to be a fully independent working woman was less common, across two continents and islands in the process. She was driven by the desire to live as much as she could knowing her likely fate.

I love that in her full-blown dementia she retreated to those golden moments from her much-lived life, telling thedad about the skiing trip she'd just taken with her flatmates from her time in Canada when he came to visit his bed-bound dementia-riddled spouse. 

That set of genes I can do without. So here's hoping that science cures that by the time I'm of age; sads I can cope with, the mads I cannot (2).

Anyway, acceptance of being a black sheep dog for the win.

(1) I later I went out and sang "Happy Birthday" to her memorial service sheet that I have pinned up on the shed wall from where she can proudly gaze upon me with much disappointment; "Oh, Michael".
(2) Upon notifying his nephew that their aunt had died thedad found out his brother-in-law, my mother's second older brother, was still alive. He does not have dementia so perhaps it is locked to the maternal line (but we may be carriers for the gene for our female kin). He was also a cock-spank despised by my mother. I hate that she went first and nuts while he lived on and stayed sane.

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