Sunday, January 12, 2014


When I awoke on Friday morning at 5 to write my blog it was with that extreme urgency to make it to the bathroom (which I didn't) accompanied by the burning so typical of a urinary tract infection. By 8 am when my doctor's office opened I was in agony and on my third load of laundry (underpants, sweatpants and bathrobes). Damn. But a test confirmed my Bonnie diagnosis and soon a powerful antibiotic began doing its magic. My doc said I'd be fine for my ablation surgery Monday. My precious niece Cheari arrives tonight from Arlington Washington to see me through this lap of the heart surgery. Whew. With luck and the skill of the electrophysiologist those parts of my electrical system that are firing off too fast will hit the dust. I'm not quite sure how this is accomplished, or even if I ever want to know.  I just know I'll sure be glad when it is over.
Going into heart surgery is not the best time to be reading a book where the narrator is death, as it is in the Book Thief, but it so happens thats what my eyes are tracking right now. It occurs in pre WW2, when Hitler is rising in Germany.  The mother of the child who is the book thief is a suspected communist and her children, starving, are taken from her. Its beautiful writing, though often morbid. In the case of both Philomena (where the Catholic church took away her child) and The Book Thief, I saw the film before reading the book, (which I also did with Grapes of Wrath in the fall), not my usual style. Maybe I am turning over a different leaf in my 80's?  I've felt all three books so deeply.
Perhaps seeing the film first helps me to appreciate the beautiful writing.
At this morning's Sunday symposium I learned about how musical scores are made for films and we saw clips of King Kong, where they music really carried the script.  I was so mesmerized by the music in Book Thief. Alas, I learned that today's film music composers often lock themselves in a condo in Malibu for two weeks where they sit with a computer and keyboard, composing the musical score. They keyboard creates the orchestra, voilla!
Yesterday, curiously, I got a letter from my cousin Vi in Vancouver who knew me as a child and who also grew up in Moosejaw, Sask., like my mother. She asks lots of family questions, like were my parents ever married (I don't know, but I doubt it) and when and why did my mother abandon me (about age 12, though she was frequently absent before that, and who knows why except that she was miserable).
So this theme of child abandonment swarms around me, as it did for many of my psychotherapy clients when I was in practice. It has been my special privilege to try to be the good mother for many of them and maybe, after tomorrow, I'll also have a steady heart. Cross your fingers.

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