Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A 36 hour visit.

Saturday morning I drove up to Sacramento. It was the first opportunity I'd had since the horrible rain to visit my grandmother in her new home, a care facility.

I saw her Saturday and Sunday; Saturday with mom, and Sunday with mom, Becky, and Joe. She is outwardly as pleasant and uncomplaining as ever, despite cancer, a recently broken leg from a fall, and Alzheimer's. She offered to make us coffee 8 or 10 times each visit, forgetting that she no longer lived in her home in Sequim.

The place she is at seems very nice, and as home-like as it can. She is in a private room; Mom goes to see her every day.

Saturday night my mom and I stayed up drinking wine and looking through a lot of the things she'd brought back from my grandma's house — photos, costume jewelry, coin collections, yearbooks.

Sunday evening, I drove back to Pasadena. Several miles south of Bakersfield on the 99, a highway sign said ROAD WORK AT TEMPLIN HIGHWAY / EXPECT 5 HOUR DELAY which I was not really down with, having expected to make our garage by midnight. I called Scott and he verified (via the internet) that southbound traffic through the Grapevine was indeed restricted to one lane due to recent storm damage, and reminded me of our favorite bypass, 58 to 14 (up through Tehachapi and Mojave.)

Ascending 58 involved twenty harrowing minutes of fog, followed by a sudden crystal absence of fog that inspired gratitude. I had accented the fog with a Twilight Zone radio broadcast, followed by Art Bell...why not? I was in Mojave, after all. Topics included the "Bible code" and batshit Howard Hughes, with presidents in his batshit shirt pocket.

It was better than the Mother Angelica program I had listened to earlier, in baffled fascination.

She described in great detail, to a loving and appreciative audience, what it was going to be like on the Judgement Day — how dazzling God would appear on his throne, surrounded by the entire host of angels, and so forth. She pondered aloud how the "nations that don't believe in him — and there are! There are nations who do not believe he exists, can you imagine," would feel once they were called in front of him to account for themselves, I suppose.

She chuckled with anticipatory schadenfraude.

What a weirdo.

Got home at 1:30.
All I remember now is the chilled smell of the fragrant grass, driving through Mojave. It came into my car.


At 8:20 AM, Anonymous

Mother Angelica cracks my shit up. She's so serious.

Also loony.

Watching her on EWTN is creepy. The audience shots show folks dressed 20 years behind the times (even for the old reruns), all staring in rapt attention and sometimes silently weeping.

~Miguel Wankel

At 12:31 AM, Julie

I got a perfect visual, listening to her: the little old Poltergeist-exorcising lady.

...back home, the internet showed me how unsettlingly close I was.


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