Rants Are Not Attractive, But They Are My Right. Your Right Includes Not Reading.

When one has a relative in Hospice Care, one often gets phone calls from someone in Hospice who wants to "check in". These calls are, in my opinion, less than useless.

First of all, the calls all follow a script. They ask probing questions, usually while I am at work and not able to fully access the feelings of vulnerability require to answer probing questions. I answer in pretend honesty and they say things meant to be soothing. I pretend to be soothed. In reality I am agitated, angry and left with a stomach full of feelings I can't vomit out. Off to my meeting! Smiles, everyone, smiles!

I want to be a bitch to the social worker, or even moreso, the clergywomen who call me. I want to say things like, "Lady, there is no fucking god, and even if there was, his idea of sadomaschism is not mine, so I'm gonna go talk to the devil who I'm sure has ideas much more up my alley." I want to say mean things, cruel things, horrible things. But I don't. I'm not always sure why I don't. I suppose it is because I'm nothing if not "nice". I'm a "nice" person much to my chagrin. If I wasn't a "nice" person I'd probably have handled all of this horrible terrible situation in ways that would have been more lucrative and self fulfilling.

In addition to being a "nice" person, I also am practical. I realize that being all cunty to the clueless young social worker on the phone won't do anything to change either of our situations. She'll still be making calls. I'll still have a mother on Hospice.

What I want to say is, "How the hell do you think I'm doing? I'm carrying around a dead woman. She is dead you know. She actually died about 7 years ago from pneumonia, only I "had a feeling something was wrong" and I called her incessently and she answered the phone and I saved her life. Again.

From that point on, her mental state, never all that stable to begin with, was all down hill. In fact, me saving her that day, like a good daughter, sentenced her to 7 years of absolutely hell, much of which she was aware of. I've had to watch her go from sharp and active to spewing vulgarities at me, to throwing things at me, to threatening suicide daily, to losing her car, to being drugged on a daily basis, to wearing diapers, to not being able to speak. Yet she is still alive. She is not alive. She is dead. She is alive. She is a zombie. She is a ghost. And god knows, if there is a god, at what point her soul, like Elvis, left the building.

She hated me for nearly two years straight. Did you know that Oh Holy Clergy Woman? How should I handle that? I was just on my way to the turtle pond on a lovely day and now I'm thinking about all this fucking shit."

That's what I want to say when they call. But I don't. Cause I'm nice.

I'm sure they are nice too. It's their job to be. Their job is to be a verdant hollow where I can lay my anger and my pain, only I can't. Cause I'm at work and I'd safely tucked all that mess away in the Gym Locker marked "BARBARA. DO NOT OPEN UNTIL YOU HAVE A DAY TO JUST CRY".

I don't want to save her anymore. I don't want to feel responsible for that. And if you think I am fighing (without much grace, I'd admit) the inevitable acceptance of the death that has already happened to her? And that it might happen to me?

You'd be right.

I may be nice? But I'm stubborn, difficult piece of work.