It’s the month of trees’ flowering buds and suddenly longer days and pi/pie day and lots and lots of basketball, with the occasional great underdog story, a Farleigh Dickinson or Princeton with unexpected wins. Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine Princeton as an underdog but so be it in basketball world where places like Kansas and Alabama rule. I am always looking for the good underdog story to root for and so for this month there are ample opportunities amidst the madness.
My own March has been somewhat hopeful and full of some good news, great tunes and the start of the process of closure. A lot of movement this week with things that have been on hold that are going forward. That is exciting and terrifying, at least in the case of my teeth. I had my follow up appointment with the dental surgeon assigned to me at the clinic and turns out that the three implants I need are just the start of it, I can’t even keep track of how much else he tells me needs to be done: there are apparently problems with my existing implants (which I didn’t think was possible) and loss of bone needing to be corrected and other things; all in all my mouth is a mess! Writing this I am reminded of my father and his squeamishness about anything dental and how it is better he isn’t reading this, as much as I wish he was still here. How much I miss him! And how much I wish my teeth were in better shape, and more, that dental work was covered by health insurance. After all, our mouths are part of our body. It makes no sense that my decent health care plan covers mental and physical health from head to toe with the exception of that big complicated mouth. ”I do not think it is too radical an idea to say that keeping teeth in your mouth should not be a luxury.“ as Bernie Sanders said regarding a failed attempt to have dental care included in Medicare. Anyway, I’m moving forward as much as I dread it.
On a more positive note, V has been accepted into the good day program we want him to attend, which is a huge relief. Now there is the issue of getting transportation so that he can have a ride to and from his group home, which is about fifteen minutes away from the day program. It’s close enough that it shouldn’t be a problem but I’ve learned that anything can be a problem. Even implants. And certainly special needs transportation. We have a few months in which I hope it will all work out.
On another upbeat and mellifluous note, T and I went out to a concert at our town’s large theater to see the singer/songwriter/pianist Regina Spektor. We haven’t gone to anything together for a while, and B stayed with V so we could attend. The tickets said that the show started at 7 so we dutifully arrived right on time only to discover that that was when the doors opened, not when the concert began. They do this intentionally so people will arrive early and spend money at the drink kiosks. So for nearly two hours in addition to having some nice down time with T I had some extraordinary people watching, as the 2500 seat performance space was sold out. There were families there with small kids, which surprised me. Lots of couples and groups of all cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and ages, with the majority in their 20’s-40’s, with a sprinkling of oldsters like us. Being part of the crowd made me feel both younger than I am and positively ancient. And once the seats were filled and the show finally started, this small woman on a huge stage started singing a Shabbos song in Hebrew in a magnificent powerful voice, explaining that we were there on Saturday night after the Sabbath had ended but she wanted to acknowledge its passing. And then she mesmerized the audience for the next ninety minutes of singing and playing and the occasional charming banter in between numbers. I knew a handful of her songs and liked them, her songwriting and her persona – the witty Russian Jewess who migrated to the Bronx and had become, like millions of immigrants, a New Yorker. The audience was filled with rabid fans – I had no idea she had a sort of cult following, albeit a very nice all embracing one I must say. It was a wonderful evening out, and a sign of things to come.
On Tuesday T and I went down to my brother’s to get the last of the items we are taking from my dad’s apartment. Quite an assortment of stuff from a good reading lamp to a 1935 two volume set of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past and lots of photos and poems and other items that my brother and sister-in-law had carefully packed into boxes. It was great to see my brother and to have a short visit once we had packed everything up and before we headed back to get home before V got off his bus. For now I have the lamp beside my computer where I read and write in my office space and a cushion that fits perfectly on my Aunt Dina’s rocking chair. We used his binoculars at the concert as we were seated way up in the balcony. It feels good to put his things to use. I have placed on my desk a bird from my Uncle Harold. They all remind me of him, of all the wonderful family I have lost (most recently, an uncle who just died this week at the age of 98) and of all the birds we see on our daily walks with V. Life goes on and we keep their memories intact.
As always I’m trying to minimize my worries about all the unknowns and still to be determined changes, and to remain optimistic. Days grow longer and eventually, warmer, and things keep moving forward.