I apparently tweeted the title approximately five years ago. I know that because my cute li’l timehop app coughed it up a while back. It was Late Life Commander-speak but I cannot for the life of me remember what she was talking about at the time. This kind of conundrum argues for a paper journal where a person can provide some context without hurting someone’s feelings by broadcasting it all over the internet. And, with very few exceptions, I do NOT like to hurt anyone’s feelings. I could do that as a kid living across from Lincoln School but I wasn’t really good at it even then, I mean that it never made me feel very good about myself. The part of my personality that can be deliberately hurtful is still in there but it is buried in a deep dark place. Usually. I occasionally make exceptions. I am human. Sigh.
The thing is that The Comm had a great sense of humor about the “word-search” problems she developed the last couple years of her life so I feel like it’s okay to talk about them when the spirit moves me. Cataract surgery (at 88) and the ensuing drugs provided some of the funnier substitutions. Like when she realized how well she could see and said, “Well! If I want to skate, I will just skate!” Yeah, that would be great but I don’t remember The Commander EVER skating at all. Maybe when she was a kid in Garden City? Not in Sault Ste. Siberia. I knew that *drive* was the word she was searching for and, uh, no moom, you are not going to be driving quiiiite yet.
It wasn’t more than a few weeks after that escapade that Radical Betty died and a whole bunch of relatives descended upon the Moomincabin. The Comm had endured cataract surgery on her other eye by then and at one point she started going on and on about how she didn’t need her tricycles any more after her cataracts were removed. The rest of us were kind of eye-balling each other behind her back, laughing behind our hands and whatever. Finally Uber Kayak Woman graciously and compassionately explained to The Comm that she had been calling her trifocals “tricycles”.
Laughter ensued, as it usually does at the Moomincabin, with full participation by The Commander. A few weeks later, she entertained the opthalmologist by talking about her “tricycle” mistake.
In thinking back on that weekend, I realize how hard it probably was for The Commander. Radical Betty was one of her best friends in life. Imagine if you are a kid and your mom and your dad’s sister love each other and are constantly having fun together and laughing and making fun for you and your siblings and cousins, organizing expotitions to wherever and on-the-fly community dinners at the Old Cabin and creating tables out of driftwood on the beach. Perfect for serving Beer Lunch on the Beach.
That weekend, my generation (G3) and the next (G4) kind of rolled over The Comm. We were busy and we were having fun despite the reason for all of us being together. And we were commandeering her kitchen, etc. Although The Comm never minded people using her kitchens (town or cabin), I think that for that event, she felt a little bit left out. I’m sorry Moom. I love you 🐸