Daily Journal 2012
Sept. 19, 2012
Since Lou Dean has gone from the earth…….
I ask the Great Silence, Are you all right, Lou Dean? My only answer comes from my tears.
A thousand points of……pain.
Lou Dean died August 12th and I have been unable to express myself about it. I shall try to re-open my daily journal comments. This is Fri. Oct 5.
A small prayer this morning, Dear Lord, Take care of Lou Dean.
I find I am crushed out of secular thoughts about dying. I can only experience through the faith of my childhood this death of the person above all others who was perfectly suited to share my life. I have so many regrets about what I might have done to make easier her years of nearing darkness.
Sat. Oct. 13, 2012
A few of the details of daily life may restore some prosaic surface of things. Jeff and Liz arrived yesterday to work on the side yard after driving all night. Pretty Liz works like a willing laborer side by side with Jeff, shoveling, wheelbarrowing, digging. Marti came by last night, paid bills on line. Notre Dame beat Stanford by goal line defense. Aaron is involving himself in many projects relating to this house.
In all the political electoral storm I find some helpful material from Daily Kos, and similar sources, and any material from Amy Goodman, and Pacifica radio, and nearly all of Robert Reich, Krugman, Steiglitz, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomski, Chalmers Johnson, Kevin Phillips,
Fri. Oct 26, 2013
In the quiet of the day my living room is pleasant with sunny views, green and verdant yard, all windows bright, and inside, many pictures of Lou Dean. I only need to remember her working in the kitchen, sometimes til midnite, her not liking to spend so much of her life in kitchen drudgery, wishing she could be working on her genealogy, and I cry out in anguish at what I did not spare her. She had her insistence on doing things as they were done, but I have regrets beyond pain that I did not bring her out of the kitchen, sit her down to listen to the good music that she loved, and to enjoy on TV the ballet, and Pavarotti, and Bocelli, and the tabernacle choir, and other good things her nature so responded to. Then I break down in grief at the finality, the wasted time that is forever too late, the lost love I seldom expressed. Her diminishing eyesight, her failing hearing should have been filled with better experiences. Oh, my Lou, I love you so, I miss you so. You left so suddenly.
An interesting day. I went, with Joel’s strong armed help, to see any available Doctor at Kaiser T.O., saw Dr Eric Beseema, and after X-rays found I had Pneumonia, serious on one lung, and a nodule that may be cancer, and severe head cold and chest congestion. Now I shall see what two kinds of anti-biotics can accomplish. More meeting next Mon. with Dr. Osmonov.
Today was last day of political activity, presidential election tomorrow.
Dr. O. appointment today. No rales (popping sounds) heard. No temp. Oxygen 97. Finished anti biotics. Dr O says we can use full medical arsenal, but further harm is likely; at age 92, we should take a minimum approach. I agree. I am ready for what ever. Is it a sin against the Holy Ghost to wish to die? My holding life sacred, central to my anti-war and pacifist beliefs, is a strange contretemps to my present openness to my own life’s ending.
A spell of pure grieving this morning, unrestrained, to match the grey and sunless day.
My postman, Richard Ross, looked up for me the statutes allowing for a Jarvis amendment home to pass from parent to child, and grandparent to grandchild. Great news for Aaron.
A childhood picture of Lou Dean shows her with patched hose and threadbare dress, shy and undemanding, with a bare clapboard house in the background, and in the distance an outhouse. This was her self image that she carried into adulthood, as, I think, from childhood we all carry basic estimates of self that persist through a long life. There was in Lou a lifelong sweetness of temperament, a helpful willingness, an unselfishness, that for her own sake actually needed curbing. The religious principles she absorbed from her parents were basically the same at the end of her life as they were in the pure and trusting beliefs of her childhood.
Often, in the many blessed years of our marriage, at bedtime, I passed by the door of the room where she slept, and I would see her kneeling by her bed, earnestly praying, trusting and innocent, childlike. I loved her, and knew I loved her, deeply, at these times.
I find a parallel to her concern for others in my own willingness as a teacher to feel it was my mission to teach students to write, and to correct their writing through endless hours, as no one else was doing, a sort of martyrdom, partly religious, quiet and anonymous. I would have been better off with more socializing, joking and laughing, mixing with friends and fellow teachers and could have been a more vital influence in the classroom.
I can hear through the near wall a light rain as it drops in a downspout.
I miss you as much as ever, dear one.
Marti will attempt to cook a turkey here for Thanksgiving. Bronwyn will be here. My physical condition continues to sink further into the ills of senility. My right leg hurts, and does not work at the knee joint, trembles, and pops out of its socket. If I drop into urinary incontinence, I’ll wish it all to be over, more strongly than ever.
Mon. Nov. 19, 2012
A strange day. Another day of confronting the meaning of death, interspersed with a few moments of comfort, of pleasure in the simple pleasantnessof a sunny California day. In its human impact death has one kind of meaning, provokes empathy, and has general philosophical acceptances, but the ending of a life of communicated love and of the shared tenderness of a thousand daily moments is a wrenching into another dimension altogether, of being lost in an endless desert of unimaginable loneliness and abandonment.
Thurs, Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.
Marti cooked a beautiful, bounteous turkey dinner, with many traditional side dishes, cranberries, sweet potatoes, biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, dressing, pies, etc. We were John, Tami, Bronwyn, Mindy, and Marti and me. First time Tami has spoken or been in our house in many years.
After falling into serious schizophrenia, and the loss of her children after a divorce, her voice now is small, childish, distorted, unnatural. Marti today gave us a great gift of time and love. She leaves Mon. for 10 days in Switzerland. In my blessing on the food, I said, “This meal is in memory of Lou Dean and her spirit of love and service to others.”
The Israeli Gaza conflict is temporarily halted.
Nov. 28, 2012 Wed.
Today Aaron and Joel were cleaning out collections of stuff in the garage, box after box. They brought in to me a box of Lou Dean’s saved papers. She was unable to throw away anything connected to her church activities, but most of which I discarded with pain and regret. Every handout for a Gospel Doctrine lesson, most of them beautifully researched and printed by Dick Bybee, every Relief Society lesson, every Sacrament meeting program, and many miscellaneous clippings, pictures, talks by general authorities, pictures and talks by Hugh B. Brown, and pounds and pounds of pictures and brochures of her trip to Nauvoo and Kirtland and her trip on the covered wagon and handcart trails with Oral Grow and others. Lou Dean’s mind and spirit were displayed in all of it. She had written a long beautiful poem of the heart-wrenching loss of loved ones in the handcart tragedy, and included with it was a letter of thanks from a church organization who had received it. Every day opens up more ways to miss my beautiful sweet soul.
Nov. 30, 2012
Reading Wallace Stegner’s “The Sound of Mountain Water.” Two wonderful pages of his childhood in Salt Lake City….the mountains, the easy rising and flowing into the seven great canyons opening from the city, as in my very bones and sinews I knew them from my own hikes, descriptions of mines and Alta and Brighton, and a well written account of boating down the Grand Canyon. Lee’s ferry was one arrival point.
I remember my own feelings when I discovered Mountain Meadows before it was given a historic site treatment, and the massacre there, and the grave of John D. Lee. I later explored the little building that I came across on the Colorado River at what was Lee’s Ferry. I wondered what must have been in the mind of John D. Lee in the years when he ran the ferry and before he was shot before his open grave; did he have occasions when a maelstrom of things evil drowned out his religious faith, did a dark part of his mind recall what was black and awful and bloody? Did he come to understand a different vision of what had caught him up? A dark poem lived in his memories and in the memories of all those who perpetrated that terrible and tragic event.
Dec. 3, 2012
The day in summary…..
The termite inspector went over and under the house, was thorough and expert, and found a few spots needing treatment. Happily the cost will be less than $300. Then Joel drove me to Dr. Osmonov, x-rays showed no change in lung nodule, but shadows on one lower lobe call for repeat of double anti-biotic for next 10 days. Returning home, I barely made it back into the house, front steps most difficult.
Marti is in Zug, Switzerland, will return Wednesday. I must do proper documents to transfer Jarvis low tax on this house to Aaron, draw up codicil in will to divide Idaho parcel into two, which I understand automatically creates building lot status. Many other loose ends and instructions must be spelled out.
Dec. 5, 2012
All my children, and especially my daughters, have taken turns being with me here, looking out for my welfare, cooking , cleaning, shopping, helping me to some standard of presentability. I can not allow continued inroads upon their own lives, and must find some affordable professional care service. Several options are open to me to allow me to stay in this house and still preserve some small inheritance for my surviving family. I must try to stay healthy and mobile.
Mindy is with me now, but will be leaving in a day or two. Fortunately she has had good substitute teaching chances, and most days has earned $100. She takes pride in living simply, here and in American Fork, and in Alaska. I am always aware of the bad experiences that she has survived: as
a foster child for a year and a half, after my divorce from Helen and my second wife’s cold rejection of my children, and repeated traumas from two abusive husbands, one a brilliant, erratic alcoholic, delaying his Ph.D. for 14 years, and the other a clever, manipulative, sexually deranged child abuser and proven pedophile. Her role here has been difficult for her, as she lives simply at home, does not like to cook, even the small and minimum approach I try to live by. She always prepares good meals, with salads and healthy items, and cleans up the kitchen, but it does not come easy for her. She loves to pick up her guitar and sing her beautiful folk songs, but does not get many chances for appreciative sharers of her talent Still there have been good aspects for her here, she eats better and enjoys richer foods than she allows herself at home, she swims at the nearby health club, has beautiful walks to take, and can enjoy much mingling with my larger family.
Dec. 7, 2012
Marti just phoned to announce her return from Switzerland. Pearl Harbor anniversary is getting less attention than in the past. Jeff and Liz worked this morning on new grab bar arrangements for me, painted two doors, and spraypainted my two rusty wheel barrows to a pretty bright blue, then they went to reunion with Marti. Johanna made a wok dish, and Aaron talked until late. “Grandpa, where are the best places in the world you have found to live? Where in California?” Much reviewing, no conclusions. Mindy is packing for return to Utah and Virginia.
Dec. 14, 2012
Today opened with two overwhelming images that speak the reality of our times. As I was just waking up, the TV came upon the final round of a boxing match between two Latino fighters, well matched, and fighting with all out fierceness. Each took heavy blows, mostly to the head, but with many hard punches to the kidneys and front, each rocked back with every flurry and blow, both were bloody and desperate, finally one began to prevail, his opponent hurt and weakening and ending up on the canvas. The camera focused on the beaten one on his stool in the corner where the semi-conscious man was wincing and retching, deathly nauseated, sick, and beaten to his very soul. The spectators were howling and demented and excited, happy with what had happened, participants in a literal human sacrifice, displaying the essence of brutality, and the socially disadvantaged hopelessness of the boxers.
The news began next to fill with the Connecticut school shooting of twenty small students and seven adults, until the full tragedy had unfolded. Somehow the two events flowed into each other.
Dec. 16, 2012
Last night, very late, a strange and personal thing happened while I was casually involved with my laptop. Suddenly Lou Dean’s voice came to me, only to call my name in a serious but pleasant tone, “Lynn,” as though to call my attention to something, or to begin a conversation. Many ways to interpret this happening, but I find it precious, and I am hopeful for more.
The shootings in Connecticut of little children and their teachers say to me, human beings armed with absurdly potent and abundant weapons are too flawed and insane to be in possession of such death dealing powers. Nations and military leaders are subject to the same madness.
“Intermittent explosive disorder” is a recognized mental label.
Last night Moray and Sue, Davia, Aaron, and I sent out for Chinese food delivered, $65 dollars worth, and while we were eating it, Marti was cooking a ham, (turned out to be outrageously too salty) and all the fixings, meant to be enjoyed next day. Then Marti decorated my well-used table with a manger scene. I was too well remembered for Christmas. Ingrid and her family are at Joel’s, and joined her parents today at church. The bishop, good and capable, will come by some time this week for a tithing settlement, at my request. I have in the past only partly tithed, because I have wanted to be generous to other causes: the Friends, Pacifica Radio, Emma Goodman’s Democracy Now, Common Cause, Planned Parenthood, and a number of others, many not quite in agreement with some church views. I shall pay a full yearly tithing which will memorialize my talk on tithing in the Wells Ward, when I was about thirteen, sharing the pulpit with President Heber J. Grant.
Sue is suffering from an eye infection, a sort of sty, is on antibiotics, will join Moray in San Diego tomorrow for family closure of mother Natalie’s death. Abe and Davia will be there.
Tonight, Christmas Eve, the house suddenly filled with Joel’s family, and Ingrid and Billy and all their children, and Johanna’s husband Larry playing the guitar for all to sing Christmas carols. They brought beautiful plates of turkey and all the fixings, most of which I saved for another time.
Sue got off for San Diego with Davia to join Moray in a family observance of mother Natalie’s death. Abe flew in from Seattle to join them.
and a number of others.