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Scrapbooking really messes up your head. Decades meld together as the pages flip backwards and forwards, searching for the pieces of this multi-generational jigsaw puzzle. There are more pieces to collect, to shuffle in at appropriate junctures. I like doing that better than reaching conclusions. I like organizing the pieces better than interpreting the pieces in a coherent story. It seems the images alone should coalesce into a story. An intriguing story of the past.

Seems a reflective mood about the country, reminds me of my New Year’s Resolution ten years ago – to face 2010 with lowered expectations. That was the year my brother Chris died. Like my mother, who died in 2008, his demise signaled the end of suffering, especially in their last days. I have nearly died several times during the last 60 plus years. What I learned from my mother’s final weeks was that one should never leave it to one’s spouse to decide the right time for death with dignity. My stepfather refused to let her go, although, as anyone who has experienced hospice knows, she was already gone. The woman he loved had departed this earth weeks before her pain riddled body was allowed to expire. So I had my brother draw up the Power of Attorney papers, and when his brain tumor started telling him his legs hurt, and his eyes went wide and he said there were small demons around his hospital bed and I could see he was terrified, but also, not sane and in pain – you see, Chris was paralyzed from the neck down since 1972, so there’s no way his lower extremities were in pain. With my permission, a kindly doctor increased his pain medications, he slipped into a coma and within hours slept his way to death. There was no soliloquy, no “to be or not be”, he had already taken arms against a sea of troubles, it was time for the opposing to end them.


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