Dana has embarked on a new project. She has begun transcribing the journals her mother kept, beginning when she was six, until, presumably, when she died when Dana was 18. Dana was supposed to get them when she got married. As it worked out she got them six years early. Dana’s relationship with her mother was… rough. Her mother had Great Expectations and Dana was an only child. Even at the beginning of the journals, there were undercurrents, that, knowing something of their history, made me uncomfortable. To paraphrase Dana’s husband, “Oh, that’s not going to end well…”
I don’t know what she’s hoping to find in this exercise. Answers? Peace? Reconciliation? Vindication? Her mother died before Dana was an adult and before they really had a chance to try and hash things out. She’s still angry. Really angry. It is the only area of her life that is visibly “off”. (Meaning she’s worked through some serious shit, but when she talks about this she doesn’t sound like Dana.) I am not sure it’s a good idea. Of course, it’s also none of my business, and I freely admit I don’t “get” it, and never can. My parents are awesome. And alive. And who’s to say, it may be exactly what she needs. Or maybe she’ll just keep raking her nails over the wound. On the days when I believe in God I get the pattern of things and understand why my Mom ends up trying to adopt my friends and Chad’s. 🙂
In any case, it has made me think. Pondering how people grow up, and what they become, and what they, in turn, make of their children. People who would be wonderful parents and aren’t. People who should never have had kids. People who make honest mistakes. Theory. With all this child-rearing theory floating around, do these people even have any time to raise their kids? I mean, hell, it’s easy enough to screw up pets.
Which leads nice into the next set of Big Thoughts. I work at the Humane Society, so animal mortality is a fairly regularly present musing. Then Sherry’s friends’ pets start dropping like flies. And Sherry’s always mildly obsessed about JeanLuc’s health (for ongoing reasons). And then I read that Abbie the Cat post. I don’t think or worry too much on the status of the pets here. Sure, Baloo is a bulldog, and they’re among the most short-lived of breeds and prone to all manner of health problems. And sure, Crumb was technically a “senior cat” when we got him (and we don’t know exactly how old he is). I guess in the back of my head I accept that they’re not mine. And chances are that I won’t be here anymore when they die (Crumb especially). And really, I’ve lived through the death of more pets than most people. Hell, I’ve helped kill pets, which is something more people, fortunately, don’t have to do. But it leaves me wondering, as a result, of what use I am to others who lose pets. I mean, I know the process. I know what happens when animals are euthanized. Does it actually help knowing that they’re not in pain? I honestly don’t remember if knowing helped me when we took Buffy and Thumper in. It’s also been a long time since any of the animals in question were mine. Hell, have I ever had a pet that absolutely was? And until Buffy, none of our pets died of natural causes anyway. JeanLuc will die. Baloo and Crumb will die. Barney and Gordie will die. With luck, not for many years. What I will do then, how I will help, I have no idea. In the mean time, though, I do keep a mental inventory of all the black kittens at the HS.