Friday, January 4, 2013

Mom at Vanderbilt University

Mom went with me to Vanderbilt for an International Conference of Urantia Book readers. We went twice and I've kind of lost track of what happened on each occasion. That is something may have happened the first time we went that I remember but confuse it with the second time. One time mom got lost. I guess that must have been the first time unless she was so cautious the first time as to avoid it. But, yes I think it was the first time because I remember her joking about it the second time. It was in 1996 and '97 that we drove up there and attended the conferences.

I remember this once, it must have been the first time because this man Jeff Wattles, I think was his name, was speaking. He was a principle speaker at the conference. Outside of the lecture hall where he spoke once a conversation developed about the end of life. Nobody wanted to be put on machines. If it came to that or something akin to it they wanted to be finished with it. I use this as my reconciliation for not doing enough to get mom back home before she died. If you know me, you know my mom had a massive left sided stroke that made her unable to speak and use the right side of her body. I swore I did hear mom whisper in understandable English but I got no reinforcement on that. It's a pity. Another thing I think was a pity was not having enough support from friends family and society. Mom barely qualified for therapy, they had such little hope. She was not able to be awakened while she was at therapy hospital and had to be rushed to the emergency room to be reawakened. I found little support when these crises were happening. I asked if there were some psychiatric counseling for stroke victims family. This was so devastating I found it hard to handle. Mom and I had been so alone for so long. That there was no counseling just reinforced this impossible solitude. The doctor asked why should there be any need of psychologists. We have strange ideas of human needs these days. The president was G.W. Bush. The Governor was Jeb. They kept asking mom if she knew who the president was and it disgusted her to say it was G.W.

It seems to be an idea that we don't need friendships, we don't need other people. It seems everything is material to us. We don't care about human relationships. I was without friendships for over 20 years of my life and though I was sent for psychiatric counseling this did not seem to be a problem to anybody. They often asked me about it as if I was some kind of genius who should know the answer to those questions or like they were so easy. It seemed hard to defend that a body needed friends though. Seemed like work was the only necessity a man had in his life. School was big. Many wanted me to return to school. This was because school would make it more likely, they thought, that I would get work. I was on Temporary Academic Suspension at the University of Florida. There were no magazine or newspaper articles on what that was about. When I went to the community college 20 years later to pursue computer programming in a department of the school called Workforce Development or something like that, I learned what this thing called petitioning was. Temporary Suspension  at UF called for attaining a 2.0 grade point average after returning to school for one semester. Not likely since I had a 1.2 g.p.a. I had to sit out a semester if I did not make the grade and petition for re-admittance. I didn't know what petitioning was then. I suppose it is what I had to do at Santa Fe, the community college I returned to in 1999. I had graduated from the same school in 1974 and so I needed to petition to be allowed to attend the classes I needed to get an A.S. in programming. I never did get the A.S. because programming was very difficult to me, languages, algorithms and the like. I also started out with a teacher who was form Tanganyika and had some language difficulties. It was supposed to be the easiest course Visual Basic programming but I had a hard time with it

So, I am getting off the course. I just sometimes think about mom and the minimal support she got when she was stricken or even when she lost the old man or even when she had her youngest son living with her because he was unliked and unemployed. Funny, unliked gets a squiggle underneath it. Not a word. I guess no such thing as being unliked.

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