Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Living Space

I have offered to live with my parents. I am extremely concerned for both of them. My mother’s herniated spinal (inter-vertebral) disc debilitates them both. For years my father has been my mother’s arms and legs for heavier tasks—save for the big ones that they always left for me. Now he needs her to help him. And they both need me. My mother said that at the appropriate time she would hire live–in help. I argued the economic sense of having to hire only daytime help and having me, for free, the rest of the time. But in our discussions last night, both were adamant that I live my own life.

Happily, the new apartment to which I am scheduled to move on December 2nd is just over two miles away, on the corner of Gilman and Santa Fe, in Berkeley. (Go north on Santa Fe to Marin. Turn right on Marin and follow it to the Arlington Circle. Thence up Indian Rock to San Luis and on to San Antonio. Under seven minutes.)

After months of extensive and fruitless searching, in Oakland, Piedmont, Albany and Berkeley, I walked into an apartment open for viewing and immediately knew it to be ‘home.’ It was almost exactly what I had been seeking. In what probably will prove to be the only serendipity in these extraordinary circumstances, I found a very nice apartment, that was by chance close to my parents, minutes before I drove to my parents’ home for dinner and they informed me of my father’s cancer.

I know I cannot completely surrender my life for the sakes of my parents. I know I have to continue to work to earn a living. And I have other people in my life who need and deserve my attentions and love as well, principally Kate. My parents know all these things, too. Nonetheless, as they set aside their own pressing needs for me, I find their generosity and love overwhelming. I really do wish they could be a little bit selfish.

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