Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I haven't been around for a few weeks due to an adrenaline shot of familial stress brought on by an ill mother who was staying with me for about a month. I couldn't find enough time to devote to my words and thoughts, let alone combining the two. I've let off some steam by walking at the beach, listening to an infinite play list of dance music and classic rock with a little Dave Brubeck mixed in there for good measure and a slightly cultural experience.
There is nothing quite like caring for an elderly person who isn't feeling up to snuff. I know how I feel when my back is in a horrid spasm, so I tap into my empathetic side, trying to motivate my mother who is now suffering from pulmonary hypertension, as well a myriad of other ailments.
The daily in's and out's of elder care is more than difficult, it's downright depressing. I love my mother. She gave me life and has continuously motivated me to be a better person in a million different ways, showed me how to cook everything from home made pasta to simple light fare like Frittatas and a wide variety of tasty soups to the secrets of her elegant yet hearty Italian tomato sauce (please don't call it gravy people...I really hate that!). I never really did learn how to sew or knit but I make a mean crocheted granny square and can refinish any antique piece of furniture at will....simply because this wonderfully talented woman took the time to nurture my interests as well as turn me on to her own. Even when the Grateful Dead came to Albany back in the late 80's, she embraced the culture that I loved until a car load of Deadheads pulled over and yanked out my mother's flock of Echinecea flowers that she had meticulously planted around our wrap around porch. I'm sure they did it merely for the flower power look of things, but my mother, furious in her stance, awkwardly looked at the small hole in the ground, cursing Jerry Garcia and all his hippie dippy followers. I suppose that was the end of my mom's dalliance into counter culture, thirty years after it was fashionable!
I've been quite busy these last few weeks between meeting Gloria Steinem, Mario Cuomo, Richard Haas, DeDe Myers and Ari Fleischer, as well as George Stephanapoulos. It was like a political Woodstock here for a solid month prior to the October 15th presidential debate held at Hofstra. It was a proud moment for all of us and although I would have loved to attend the event, I was more than happy documenting the days happenings through photographs taken alongside picketers and protesters who loudly expressed their disgust with John McCain but moreover with the oil war that has taken more than four thousand American lives and countless Iraqi casualties. I'm a peace nick if you haven't noticed and refuse to support a war that will soon know no borders. When will the madness stop and when will America get mad..downright pissed off at the happenings of the last eight years. Maybe we'll see that fury tomorrow as we all head out to our local polling places filled with pride, hope and yes, a little fear that those nasty red states will somehow get redder. The truth in each one of us lies in our decision tomorrow. We can either vote for hope or vote our fear. Pick one and commit to it. I openly choose hope but there are those citizen's out there who will let their primal fears strangle their very chance to once again actively participate in our democratic government. I again will remind you that I am and will always be for Hillary but I do believe Obama has an innate quality that my candidate does not possess. His ability to reach people in an empathetic, understanding way will catapult his political career and solidify his rightful place in history. He's one of us, not raised as a senator's son with the proverbial silver spoon sticking out of his mouth. Obama understands what it's like to live through the years of divorce, familial instability and humble beginnings. I realize he's no Superman, Shaman or healer but he is going to lead America into a new world for better or worse. Cast your votes tomorrow and make sure you vote for Hope!