Friday, April 24, 2009


We celebrated Earth Day two days late and went to see the new Disney 'Earth' movie. Perhaps I was still reeling from yesterday's movie; I was again disturbed by the violence in the film. It was mostly implied -- it was a PG movie and there was no blood and gore; but it was a somewhat disjointed story about predator and prey and the fragility of existence. I found myself covering my eyes in anticipation of an animal's death over and over again, much like my experience yesterday when human animals displayed as much compassion and kindness as violence and evil. The animals in the movie were just surviving, but so were the people in Sin Nombre.

I wonder if part of this sensitivity is a reflection of my visit to Canada. My parents are very much at the end of their lives. My father is 89 and although mentally fit, he is fading physically, both literally and figuratively. My mother's personality has changed significantly and although I have always had a difficult relationship with her, I miss who she was and and am having difficulty adjusting to who she is now. I feel that I am abandoning them when I leave for Ecuador and I have a horrible uncomfortable feeling that I will lose them when I am so far away. In truth, all three of their children have abandoned them! We could not wait to leave Edmonton and start new lives when we were teenagers, and we all moved far away and got busy with our lives and our parents adjusted and filled their days with work and friends and travel and regular visits to all three of us. They have missed us, and more recently I have missed them, and I miss them more and more. I miss who they were and am very aware of them slipping away.

The weekend with my parents was on one level joyous and relaxing, but I have found myself close to tears repeatedly since then. When I hugged my father it felt like I was crushing a delicate bird. My mother is fragile too; she fights to remember and not to reveal any cognitive deficits and to take care of my father and her children. After the years of conflict and disagreements and criticisms and chasms, all I feel from them is their love for me, for my children, for Eric, for my sisters. And loss.

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