To be honest, I really don’t feel like adding a new post to my blog right now. Despite some of the positive aspects that were part of 2020, it’s not ending on a good note.
Let me get the unpleasant part out of the way first. I moved back to Germany in September, hoping to be closer to my family. I was, and that was great. For a brief while, it even seemed like life was almost normal again. The time I spent with friends in September was amazing. A new job, a new apartment, everything seemed to be going the right way.
But then, Covid began to take over life in Berlin again. Demonstrations against restrictions, tightening of regulations for public and private gatherings, and effectively an cancellation of Christmas (I never thought that there even was such a thing).
The latest is my mother’s health situation. She had her second heart attack a few days ago. That alone is scary enough. With Covid, the tragedy is now that nobody is allowed to visit, my father can drop a few items off for her, but has not access, other than by phone. To add to it, we can’t visit my father either. Sure, we could, but with the travel restrictions, and the real concern about bringing Covid into my parent’s house, he does not want any visitors.
The only reason I’m writing this post is that I need to just put down how I feel. It’s the story of my family, in a way. Nothing is ever wrong, until it’s undeniable. First, it was just a routine surgery to place some stents into the arteries. Then my mother had difficulty breathing and needed oxygen. That helped, and my sister and I were told that she might be back today.
Now it turns out that they had detected fluids in her lungs and today drained 1.5 L out of one side of her lung. Tomorrow they will handle the other side. But besides that, it’s all fine.
My father was already alone over Christmas, the first time since he met my mother over 50 years ago. Now he’s going to spend New Year’s alone as well. But he’s fine.
What I really want to do is scream at him that it’s ok to say, it’s not fine! Fuck, nothing about 2020, is ‘fine’. Sure, we’re making the best of it, at times that even leads to wonderful times that wouldn’t have been possible without a global pandemic. But it I’m freaking out because I just don’t know what’s going on with my parent, then I cannot even begin to imagine what’s going on with those who have loved ones with Covid in a hospital.
Covid is just a side-effect for me and my parents, at least so I hope. I’m not even sure I would find out if my mother had Covid until it’s run its course, one way or the other. I love my parents.
I can go back to my childhood and it’s always been the same. If there was something wrong, we wouldn’t talk about it. Whether it’s school, relationships, illnesses, or anything else. That’s why I moved out as soon as I could. Of course, I was completely unprepared to deal with life on my won. No wonder, I ended up in bad relationships, but abused (although unlike many others, I got lucky and friends pulled me out of those relationships).
I’m upset. I’m upset with my parents for their ‘it’s fine’ attitude to life. I’m upset with not being able to see for myself how my parents are doing. I don’t even trust that my father is telling the bad news, if there is bad news. It feels like I’m still being treated like a small child that needs to be protected from the ‘harsh’ realities of life.
Fuck, if my parents knew what life I had lived while telling them that everything was fine, they wouldn’t think I need protection from them. I know that life can be harsh and cruel. But it’s also beautiful and often in ways that get stand in such contrast to the cold and uncaring world around us.
I just hope that I’ll never become a ‘it’s all fine’ kind of parent or friend. If something sucks, it sucks. That’s the first step to getting it to suck a little less in the future.
Sorry for the rant — it’s my blog and nobody is making you read it.
PS: Quick update, my mother was released from hospital on New Year’s Eve. Of course, rather than acknowledging that this was a close call, she’s back doing everything around the house she’s always done. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but in any case, it’s so typical.
P.P.S.: Not 48 hours into the new year, my mother had a severe stroke and is back in the hospital; this time it will be days before we know the prognosis, and the future is terribly uncertain. No, things are definitely not fine.
This will be the end of me writing about my family, at least for now.
At this stage, venting doesn’t help. She’ll need all the support we can give her, as does my father. And I need to keep this space to keep up the cheerful parts of life. Thanks.