No, not exactly lost. More like mired, traumatized by seemingly endless family crises. That's what accounts for my recent silence.
My 96-year-old mother, whose mind is gone and whose body is not far behind, told my sister Catherine recently: "I've decided not to die." She lives in one of those euphemistically named "convalescent hospitals." She hates it there. She's miserable. Yet she's never in her room, always seeking social contact somewhere in the facility. She cannot write, read or use the phone, which means she's cut off from far-flung relatives who enjoy keeping in touch with her. She's very unsteady on her feet and has taken several bad falls, one of which is the cause of her being in that facility in the first place, yet she constantly tries to get up and walk. I guess in some ways that's a good sign. She's tried to walk out of the facility. The staff has to monitor her so she doesn't fall or leave. She has no place to go, and she barely knows where she is anyway.
Neither Catherine nor I has the space or resources to care for her in our homes. Our father's legacy to ensure her care in her declining years is rapidly dwindling. Sadly, Mom's situation is not an unusual one in our society.
The other piece of bread of this sandwich in which I am the meat is my 30-year-old daughter. She's been in crisis that's breaking my heart, and my bank account. I've felt loved and supported by my dear friends and family during this difficult time. My partner Corby's been a wonder throughout everything. Still, love and support can only go so far. She has to take it the rest of the way on her own.
Enough of this whining. I'll be back on a more regular basis when I can manage it.
In the meantime, I direct you to my friend Victoria's blog, where she's posted some of those wonderful sheela na gig quilts I mentioned earlier. Here's a photo of the sheela at Killinaboy Church in County Clare; that's Corby gazing up at it.
And let us celebrate the victory of the Pentacle Quest. Watch for my friend Todd Berntson's forthcoming video called "A Hero Denied" documenting the whole quest.