I had a message from Andy-the-Dead-Dog's mother* so I called her this morning. She wasn't home. While I was sitting there drinking coffee and listening to her recorded announcement, I accidentally erased off my answering machine two messages that had been left by my mother. I knew it would happen sooner or later, and I didn't take any steps to preserve the messages -- even though my mother died shortly afterwards. Both were rather dire, and in the second one she said she was calling 911 for an ambulance. I should erase ALL the messages. I have one from a nurse, "...your mother's condition has changed..." the day she died, and one from another nurse, "...there's been a change in Mr. Kendall's condition..." the day before my father died. I had a long talk with Shelley yesterday, about how difficult things are right now. It came to light that she hadn't understood, and was surprised to hear, that my mother died a year ago. She said, "You lost BOTH your parents last year?" I think she was in the thick of her own problems with my father's Alzheimer's, and that's why it was remote to her. My father would forget -- I told him Mummy had died, but he'd say, "How's your mother?" I'd reply, "Well, she's still dead, but Elizabeth has a new apartment and she really likes it a lot!" Throwing a bridge, as it were, over the void.
*I dog-sat for Andy, which was fine after I figured out how to do things. He was stone deaf, so you could call until your lungs fell out with no reaction from Andy. I realised he operated visually, and he looked back periodically to see what I was doing. If I was following he kept going. If I turned around and went the other way, so would he. I house-sat for two stone-deaf dogs, both, weirdly enough, named Andy. The first Andy came to a sad end from lying under a parked vehicle. The second Andy lived a long life. His mother always said he liked me better than her -- at least, he was happy when I dogsat, which was good. I don't believe he liked me better than her.
Maybe I'll go and erase my answering machine completely, now.
posted by - 10:42 AM