Digging around in the closet for something, I came across the above Easter decor I’d forgotten I had. A lamb, the eggs and chicks, and the dish towel.
Night before last, some time in the wee hours, I woke just as the back of my head hit the floor. Oops.
I did not recall getting out of bed. But Abi has been wanting to go out every few hours the past few weeks. I can feel her staring at me close to my face, and I’ll wake up and let her out.
Yeah, it hurt. I banged my left elbow. The back of my head throbbed for an hour or so, but I went back to sleep. Guess I’m pretty hard-headed!
The way I measure if I’m hurt is whether I’m able to do my yoga stretching exercises upon awakening. If I’m able to get down to the floor mat and go through my moves, then I figure I’m okay.
My elbow is swollen. I’ve been putting ice on it.
At least I didn’t seem to hurt my right ankle. I have been able the past few days to get out and about, so that would have been hard to take.
Just when I think I might be getting close to getting back in the bathroom to continue painting, etc., something happens that sets me back.
I sure hope Abi gets back on schedule so I can sleep more than a few hours at a time. I wake up tired and probably don’t get enough deep sleep.
Although I was pretty asleep when my head hit the floor!
I’ve been reading Necessary Lies. I don’t know how long I’ve had it in my book stash.
It is set in the sixties. It’s about a young woman, newly married to a pediatrician, who yearns to have her own career. Her husband is not happy with this decision, but grudgingly goes along with it.
As a new social worker, Jane goes to see clients who are in a world of hurt.
Unlike the other social workers in her office, she doesn’t seem to be able to distance herself from their personal woes.
This has put her very young marriage, as well as her job, in jeopardy.
It is of the time when they practiced “eugenics,” which appeared on the scene after World War II.
If someone was “feeble-minded” or had something like epilepsy, the social worker could write up a petition and have a doctor do a surgical procedure to sterilize them.
If the girl was under age, the parental figure could sign the petition giving their permission. At least that’s what happened in the book.
As Jane helps a grandmother who is raising her two teen-aged granddaughters on her own, she becomes deeply enmeshed in their plight.
When the subject of sterilization comes up in regard to these girls, she is stricken with doubt and apprehension. She doesn’t believe in taking away their right to decide, and then lying to them. As she knows sometimes happens.
Her husband thinks this is the right thing to do if they’re poor, of low intelligence, and on welfare.
But Jane knows that it’s much more complex than making a decision for someone simply because they are from a certain strata of society. Marginalized because of their poverty.
Do you ever read a book and you feel so strongly about the plot that it brings up emotions you didn’t even know you had?
Maybe it was the timeliness, that it was set in the sixties. And I recall the harsh bigotry that was prevalent during that time.
I have to wonder, did the same thing happen to my developmentally disabled maternal grandmother?
When she became pregnant with my mother, did they perform the same surgical procedure to ensure there would be no more children?
I remember how she was treated, like she didn’t deserve the dignity others had a common right to.
I recall how it seemed somewhat normal to me because it was what I knew. But there came a time when I caught myself treating her the same way.
I remember feeling stricken when it happened. Instantly ashamed that I had talked to her like I’d heard others talk to her.
I have held that inside all my adult life, that feeling of shame. I have cried about it many times.
Now, at my current age, I think that I should have done more for her as an adult. I should have gone back.
But I didn’t.
The last time I saw her was in the mid to late eighties. I didn’t even know the year she died because I didn’t keep up with any of my relatives.
She died around 1993, I learned. But that means there was eight years, eight years when I could have done more than send her the occasional flowers she probably didn’t care a thing about.
The once in awhile phone call that for some reason brought great anxiety and I couldn’t wait to say good-bye.
And before too awful long, communication trickled down to nothing.
I told myself that it was just too difficult, dredging up those long ago memories and the pain that came along with them.
I don’t even know that she missed me. She seemed okay just being around whoever was there at the time, the child-like woman who sought everyone’s approval, and got almost no one’s. Maybe I wasn’t even important to her.
But, you see, I know. I know that I dropped the ball, and I can’t forgive myself.
Decisions that we make when we’re young and oftentimes foolish; sometimes those decisions that were never really decisions at all, come back to haunt us.
I think karma has already made me pay my dues, if in fact that happens.
I feel the pain of being distanced from someone I love. And I figure that perhaps that is something I deserve to some degree. So I stoically accept it. Or try to.
It kind of evens things out, you know? An eye for an eye, or something to that effect.
When you toss a stone into the water, ripples suddenly appear and spread across the water’s even surface.
The water will eventually become just as placid as it was before you threw that stone. No one would know that a ripple ever appeared if you didn’t tell them.
But you witnessed it. And the fact of the matter is, you will never forget.