As the universe continues to expand with ever-increasing velocity, we are living in an increasingly intense time. The blooming Information Age has transformed our small, faux-independent worlds into an interconnected, global, socio-economy. Who knows the full extent of repercussions from having access to so much information? Not everyone is taught how to develop rational thought, how to decipher facts from destructive ad messaging and worse, weaponized political propaganda. The dismantling of public education (I’m looking at you, Betsy DeVoss) only serves the companies and share-holders who profit from mass-ignorance.
The messaging can be overwhelming, and consumerism can leave us feeling like we’re missing out if we don’t have the latest gadget. Sometimes, especially in the midst of the holiday shopping bonanza, it helps to remember we’re more than mindless consumers.
A few days before Thanksgiving, one of our family members had an accident. Mary was my daughter’s great-aunt (on her dad’s side). She was a nun, often involved with Violet’s life. Way back when things were fractious between Violet’s dad and I, Mary would be the liaison between us. She was an unconditionally-loving person, who exuded a calm kindness, which I appreciated. And she was the only person from that side of the family who ever came into my apartment and saw my art or watched one of my videos. So perhaps you can imagine the depth of sadness when we learned she’d tripped on a curb and broken her spine. In an instant she was paralyzed from the neck down.
Not knowing how grim her prognosis was, we tried to prepare ourselves for many long walks, pushing Mary in her new wheelchair. But she was in a great deal of pain. It hurt, just eating. That’s when we’re told, she didn’t want to be on life support, whatsoever.
We went to say goodbye to Mary. Heavily medicated, she drifted in-and-out of consciousness. I had so many things to say, but in the moment, couldn’t manage to get any of it out. I remember being angry at the God she worshipped and believed in, for after a lifetime of faithful devotion, betraying her this way. It was heartbreaking. By the end of the week, she was gone.
So this holiday season, I’m reminded yet again of how fleeting and unfair life can be, and of the irreplaceable feeling of human touch and loving friendship. I try to relish in how good it feels to have my mom, dad, and daughter, all together under one roof. (Despite, as numerous men have pointed out, how un-sexy it is.) Thanks to the existence of Violet, my family is more together now than it has been in thirty years. She might have Teenageritis, quick to argue, and slow to collect her dirty socks from the living room, but that will soon go away and she’ll still be our angel. Just please don’t remind me that she’s moving to New York in a couple weeks.
Happy holidays y’all! See ya on the flip side.