I was coming back from a circus show in North Beach. I had gotten there by train, the same train I took to visit my mother when she was in San Francisco living on the street. (She’s doing the same now in San Jose.) Going out I remembered the weight of sorrow in my face, … Continue reading I Thought I Saw Her on the Train Platform Last Night
Turning the new year and coming on the two year anniversary of the COVID lockdown, I am thinking about my mother and her challenges over the past couple years. When we went into lockdown, she was staying at a hotel. She thought that she was having money added to her bank account to enable her … Continue reading My Mentally Ill, Homeless Mother and COVID-19
I could start with the first time she was hospitalized, in what was supposed to be my last year of college. In the hospital, she greeted me in her nightgown with one of my stuffed animals, a mouse, in her hand. In her room were the rest of stuffed animals of my childhood. Or maybe … Continue reading Where Do I Start When I Talk About My Mentally-Ill Mother?
I don’t want to talk with her. If I talk with, I’m reminded of how bad the situation is. I’m reminded of her delusions. I’m reminded of her struggles, her vulnerability. I’m reminded that I can’t help her because she won’t let me. I don’t want to try to find her, because I’m reminded how … Continue reading I’m Tired of This
Something is changing the way I express my compassion, how I feel compassion. Something is different and it may look like I’m lacking compassion. One thing I have noticed in caring for my mother is a basic change in my temperament. I have had to learn to tolerate a new level of grief, pain, and … Continue reading Compassion and Expression
I meet her now for lunch. We share food and conversation. I can check in on how she’s doing. She can see that nothing bad is happening to me. Her mind is lively. She’s still interested in art, architecture, politics. She showed me a couple political books she’s read lately. She’s in there, interested in … Continue reading Staying in Her Life
She asks me if I even spoke in Meddler. I tell her no, I don’t even know what Meddler is, except for what she has told me. She says it’s a communication system. She says that someone in Meddler spoke to her who she hadn’t heard before. She had a young voice, which is unusual … Continue reading She’s Going to Disappear For a While
Here we are, approaching the end of the year. It’s been nearly three years since my mother has reappeared. I’m no longer in full flaming freak-out. I’m no longer in the deepest despair of her situation. There is a low murmuring grief that we are here, another year of my mother on the street. Another … Continue reading Closing the Year
I got a call from the police at 10:30 p.m. They found my mother in a park and saw the open missing persons report I made from the last time she disappeared. They asked me about my mother’s history. We talked about involuntary commitment, which they said they did not have cause to do. I … Continue reading Mom’s Been Found
I have made the calls, which was easier this time. It was easier because I know what city she’s hanging out in now. It was also easier because I’ve done this before and we were reconnected in time. It’s become part of the process of my life now: mom disappears and I call the hospitals, … Continue reading My mother has disappeared again, the fourth time.