Thursday, November 10, 2016

I miss you, Mom

2016 has been rough. I've started a blog post about my Mom having died at the end of October, then Blogger crashed part way through typing it out and I couldn't bring myself to rewrite it at the time. Ive thought about writing another one at various points over the past week and half, but haven't been able to bring myself to do it at those points, either. Here I am now, Gentle Reader.

This is an email I sent myself on October 31:

Having a hard time, off and on, processing all this. Over the past year, the flood of memories and things that have happened has been.... immense? Astounding? Unreal in the gravity of reality? Not sure how to put everything into words.

Best guess is that mom died sometime around Wednesday 10/26/16, though the county coroner apparently has marked it as Monday night. Regardless, she lay they for some time, alone, since no one found her until Friday. No autopsy was done, and because of the delay, the medical research group was unable to take her body. This makes me feel even sadder.

The events the days before aunt R. and uncle W. called are strange. Both in the thoughts, sensations, and notions I experienced, as well as how those around me were. Not sure how to process that, either. "Talking" with Havoc and holding her paw, eating lunch at the place where mom and would go years ago when it was called "the Mongolian grill" and having looked at the Mongolian beef and having a wistful memory of those times, minutes before getting That Call....

Little things that seem somehow profound.

Called [initials redacted] and was able to talk for a few moments with him yesterday. Felt important, somehow, that I make that call. Not easy, nor happy, but... needed done.

Talked with aunt R for a while this evening. More aspects of Mom's passing stand out. She had been buying and wearing oversized clothes, found with caffeine and diet pills of some sort in her medicine drawer, even though she had been still steadily losing weight. Indications of sleep problems as well. Her reclusivness and aversion to going out, while 'normal' as long as I can remember, had seemed to become more pronounced, as well, over the past years. The mirroring I had been experiencing leaves me wondering and concerned.

Aunt R also mentioned mom had started having memory lapses, and problems functioning with day-to-day tasks, cognative functionality slowly slipping.

At some point, mere days before That Call, Q and I had been talking about something [can't remember what the conversation was centered around, nor what prompted it, at this point], and I remember talking clinically about cellular degradation and critical systems failing. It's disturbingly eerie, now in retrospect.

So many little incidents. So little ways to concretely explain it all. Just, a feeling of... flux. Echos, reverberations, overlapping anomalies? "Follow the bubbles to the surface," but there's no specific surface to find, it feels like at the moment.

Reading an older article from the online version of Discover Magazine (Mom had got a subscription to it for many years, while I was growing up. Had saved the printed issues for a long time, and finally recycled them after lugging them around for a number of moves...) about the LHC earlier today, it made me think about all the various types of particles and their interactions as a peculiar way to describe people's lives and their interactions, over time, as we all move through the vastness of time and space on this ball of dirt and water we call Earth. That and how [paraphrasing Star Trek's term for it] tachyon messaging, moving through some [undefined, exactly] substrate seems more plausible, if not still somewhat ambiguous  [and unsigned/unverifiable, per se].

Idk. Just rambling here, in this text, I guess. Fingers and toes freezing, bit of a headache, and somewhat nauseous. Too much coffee, not enough water and food, perhaps.


Had sent a few messages to old friends about possibly trying, again, to learn a new language, with the possible goal of writing an open source mobile app (or at least for various platforms) to do knitting charts. [Had also thought about the concept of an interpretive algorithm/AI - TYPE extension, for image processing to turn drawings/sketches into charts. Was thinking specifically line drawings for making textures and lace, akin to the idea of mosaic pictures, but with knitting stitches factored into the fabric weave, less so the specific color conversion [of which, there are already many programs for beading, cross-stitch, and fair isle colorwork out there.]] That's far beyond my current capabilities, however. I barely remember shell scripting and Perl, at this juncture.

Thoughts, though, I guess. Creating the Knit Modern Font [only partially finished and documented], and providing [marginal, at best] symbol augmentation to the Source Forge "Sconcho" project is a far cry from this sort of endeavor. *sigh and shrug*

I'm 42. Wtf am I doing? Idk, anymore. ;;

Then on November 6th I emailed this to myself:

well, it would have been Mom's 67th birthday. I spent the day wrestling to get into the laptop she mysteriously [and secretly] bought only a few weeks prior to her passing.

After "hacking" (and I use that term loosely, since it was more of a basic, physical access work-around and nothing fancy), I couldn't find any files locally that she made: no documents, photos, or anything personal, other than a few games she seems to have installed {and what seems to have been scam malware apparently bundled with some of them}. I dont know what I expected to find, honestly, but had vaguely hoped she might have left some indication of her thought process for events over the past few weeks. I have some vague suppositions, and strange notions, but nothing concrete, nor rational {in what I would usually term as "normal"}

Tonight, I reimaged the laptop with a clean install. I cried. I don't know what to do with this laptop, exactly; a gift that came at a depressing price.

I've learned {and relearned a few things I had forgotten} a few things, having had to delve into Windows 10 and DOS command prompts.

my existence feels... different. diminished and augmented at the same time. lyrics still drift through my head occasionally "wreckless thoughts survive"...

At this point, the intermittent "crying so hard I end up physically sick" has mostly subsided. The last I talked to her was August 30th. I ended the call with the usual, "I love you and I'll talk to you later, ok?" but for a multitude of little, lame reasons never did. While we had a tumultuous relationship over the years [what family doesnt, I guess?], she deserved better. Not to die alone, after years of pain. [She had back surgery twice, years ago, that left her with multiple vertebrae fused by titanium hardware. Through a number of falls (where she broke her wrist at one point, and collar bone at another time) the hardware had shifted, screws were pulling out and now a major portion of her lumbar and lower was misaligned (per the X-rays) but the extent of damage couldn't be completly assessed. The request for an MRI was denied and she was told to get physical therapy. Yeah, physical therapy for hardware that was out of alignment. Days after she died, while cleaning out her apartment, aunt R, as executor of her estate, received a letter saying that Mom's case had been reassessed and that she was now approved for the MRI. A horrible joke.] Somehow, I feel like I failed her. Mostly I'm numb, and try to not let the few, meager remnants of who I once saw as an intelligent force of will be reduced to the memory of a tired woman in chronic pain dying alone. I'm trying to keep remembering her as that feisty lady with a book in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other (or pen), and a quick quip.

My year is ending similar to how it began, and this worries me. I miss you Mom. Love you.

Undated photo, Lori Ferguson sometime in around 1982-1984

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