Some of you have written Dymphna and not received a prompt response. I handle most of the email, but I don’t like to reply to those which are specifically addressed to my wife. As a result, some of you have gone without a response for quite a while.
One of her correspondents inquired yesterday about Dymphna’s silence, and she was moved to write a lengthy reply. With her permission I have adapted it here, so that anyone else who has been neglected can gain some insight into her situation.
I would never willingly ignore someone with the same name as my first born and both my grandfathers.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Part of the problem is my health, part is the logistics of our computers. And part of it is just everyday interference.
The health part: I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue (same genetic disorder really, just different manifestations at different times). This greatly limits my ability to do the things I would like, including answering emails. I have a month-old email from Pundita that I have yet to respond to — and it was urgent. I owe her an apology… and another from an old commenter from several years ago with whom I formed a close friendship. She wrote me on Saturday — a wrenching revelation of her difficult life and the year’s silence I wondered about. That should have been responded to immediately, but instead I think of her and her sorrow…
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Also notice how little I post in comparison to the Baron. I just don’t have the energy. There’s one I want to do on China, but the papers remain on my desk, in disarray (well… they’re neat enough, it’s my mind that’s in chaos).
My daughter’s death threw me into such a tailspin that I am only barely starting to climb out of it. Three years, four months and two days… but hey, who’s counting. I don’t expect to ever fully recover but I sure would like to make the pit less deep, so I can see more easily over the top and into the beautiful world around me.
The logistics part. The Baron has the “real” computer in his office and I have my laptop in my “office” (i.e., the kitchen). Since we have wi-fi I can see and answer emails the day they come in, but when he pulls the email at night, we have to juggle schedules the next day to allow me to get to previous messages, and things sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
And then there’s real life: after three years of chaos in this house, I am beginning to recover a sense of order. It’s a tiny cottage without enough storage space, so a local carpenter has been coming to help me resolve that problem… Only the house is old, was built by a black family 60 or more years ago, and I swear they didn’t have a level. Nothing is plumb, everything has to be jerry-rigged and covered with molding to hide the wandering walls — some of which bow in while others bow out.
I am probably out of my mind (many echoes of agreement in the background) but today I am going into town (an hour each way) to adopt a feral cat and attempt to make it calm enough to live with our own cat, who is so species-lonely I’d like to wring her neck. This will mean sitting in the mudroom with her for days, laptop on floor, trying to help her integrate. Tranquilizers for both of us!
Everyday stuff also includes trying to help my dead daughter’s children cope with their loss. Some of them are acting out in ways which will severely limit their later lives. One is in minor trouble with the police for silly, impulsive stuff. I spend time on that one. Another is doing well in school but is lonely and I need to go to the school to encourage him just by being a presence there.
This is all hard when you’re limited by pain and by what sometimes feels like Alzheimer’s! Some days I can barely walk, others I can spend hours digging in the garden… and I never know which it will be when I wake up in the morning. Some weeks I’ve written so little that I barely have one post to submit to the Watcher of Weasels Council… and I’m always behind in my posting for that, too.
The carpenter has just arrived with the bathroom linen closet he built… and I have to scoot and build that darn cat cage…
This is my long apologia. I have left out two thirds of it!