My mother is dying.
My sister called last night to tell me that this time, when she went into the hospital for her chronic heart problem, she would not be coming out again.
She is 87 years old, just half a year younger than when we lost her mother at 88. And at almost 65 it is not unreasonable to believe that I have to expect to lose my mother sooner rather than later. But I am still not ready to lose my mother.
See this ugly little hairy mushroom-guy? This is Murky Deepends. I started drawing him as a teenager. I needed to see him face to face… because I was a survivor of a sexual assault. I started drawing him after the phone call that kept me from killing myself.
And this picture of him that I drew today is the only picture of him that I still have. I may have drawn hundreds over the years. I drew him to tear up the picture, or burn the picture, or soak it in water and flush it down the toilet.
Murky is my depression.
And before I could use him as an illustration for this piece, I had to make sure I put a black box around him. No way can I ever let him escape again to grow and take over my life one more time. I cannot let him win.
I know he looks kind of sad and pitiful. But don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a stone cold killer. And if you look at him carefully enough, you may detect a smile on his face.
I am sad now about my mother. But it is okay to be sad. I lost my father less than a year ago. During the pandemic lockdown. I did not get to see him before he died. I did not get to attend his funeral.
My fear is that the same thing will happen now with Mom. I have no way to safely get to Iowa again. The pandemic is raging again in both Texas and Iowa with the Delta variant. My sister is the only one who can get into see her and be with her according to hospital Covid rules. (Mom does not have Covid. Only a weak and failing heart.)
And it is okay to feel sad. I have earned the right to be sad through 63 and three quarters years of love and devotion.
And Murky has no place in my sadness. Murky is depression. Not a feeling like sadness, but an absence of feeling, a numbness and incapacitation. So, I will keep him in a box or destroy him completely. I will get through this with the rest of my family, and Murky will not have any power over me.