Patti feels confused as she walks right in to the set up. One of the doors of no return--
|Patti didn't spend the night with her 88 year old mother as often as she used to. When she lived seven miles away, her mother called her frequently between 2:00 and 3:00 am, and asked her only daughter to drive over and sit with her because she wasn't feeling well. Patti was a night person, and usually still up, but she hated the 25 minute drive when she thought her Mom might be taking her last breath.
The situations became regularly occuring "scares." For all the little strokes and other physical ailments, she still retained a good portion of her dignity. Betty hadn't come to her last breath yet. Yet each day, with another new pain, she got more crabby and difficult to be pleasant with. Everything Betty needed to do either was a problem or created a problem. She didn't deal well with most people on the telephone. When she didn't feel well, Patti was the only one around to take her frustration out on: built-in daughter scapegoat, or whatever.
Since Patti had moved a block down from her mother's house, she noticed the small and then larger indications of her Mother's physical and mental health fading. Betty had suffered with symptoms of congestive heart failure for ten years. She had digestive problems. Sometimes she had social problems, which she had previously cleared up on her own.
Even in her late 80s, she expected to be in charge in business matters, she paid the medical bills, saw to it that mother and daughter made it to all scheduled appointments, so that no extra fees would be charged. Both made their appointments. Patti's were mostly for psychiatrist on a regular basis because she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Her Mother's needs and requests didn't prove to be a problem for Patti, because she'd experienced them all her life. Like hBetty's compulsion to the thoroughly locked in. She has chains and locks on all three gates in her 6 - 8 foot tall fence--the shortest section held three rows of serious barbed-wire on the top. She and her dog were safely locked in from the back of the house. Patti saw a pain management doctor to remedy her back problems, which were chronic at times, and preventing her from getting out of bed some days. She sympathized with Michael's years of back pain and treatments
Betty had a caretaker, but those two had a very turbulent relationship. It was real off and on. Vivian was no spring chicken herself, sporting 77 years of age. She'd suffered a fall helping a lady at church, and she was off her feet for quite some time, leaving Betty without outisde help, so Patti had been doing her Mother's grocery shopping, and she'd taken her to the beauty shop to get her hair washed. Since Patti could practically anticipate her needs.
When Vivian returned to help with shopping and chores, she began to frequently go off on tangents, and end up not completing the task at hand. A problem developed over bringing home the right groceries, and Vivian lost one bag one. Betty would get mad at Vivian over some little something, and she wouldn't need any driving services for awhile. Betty drove herself in emergency situations, but her vision, despite cateract surgery and corrective glasses, kept her in a sort of fog that was not conducive for driving.
She never exactly told her daughter she wasn't able to drive, just that she preferred not to drive on general principles. She still had a valid driver's license, and she believed herself able to drive. Patti tried not to think about it, and volunteer before her Mom could get herself to the car.
Betty had been a bookkeeper, an administrative assistant, and a member of a typing pool during the years she worked after her first husband's death. She told Patti that she decided to marry James, a neighbor she had met only a few months earlier, because he said, "Honey, I have enough money to take care of you for the rest of your life."
Ends up, he wasn't kidding, and Patti made her way into a monthly deposit routine, taking the pressure of "job for a living" off of her. Instead, Patti spent her time writing, and thinking.
James and Betty had ten happy years together before he passed, and she and her daughter were still living on his financial investments. Betty liked having control of things, but her health had deteriorated to the point she couldn't always use a calculator. The prearranged trust took over the family business matters. Family finances, especially Patti's were never the same again. She felt like the people at the bank treated it as their money--that's kind of what a trust is.
Patti couldn't remember later if she'd been invited to spend the night at her Mom's that particular night, or if she had just called and invited herself. Patti and her Mother sat in the guest bedroom talking for awhile. Patti carried the conversation, and Betty seemed to be far off in another world. Her eyes were very blank, and she tried to to look Patti in the eye. When Betty made eye contact, the tears started anew. There was a huge silent elephant in the room, and Patti didn't see it.
That was how Patti remembered it later. She was telling her Mom about some old Beatles songs she'd heard recently, the church group that met at the house across the street must have taken up a singing pledge.
Patti didn't realize she was talking very fast. Patti was dominating the conversation where Betty couldn't have gotten a word in edgewise, even if she'd wanted to. If Patti had realized she was being motor-mouth manic, she would have shut up. So she didn't realize she was very manic, and escalating as they spoke.
Eventually tears welled up in Betty's eyes, she sobbed into her ever-present pocket tissue, and finally left the room--looking frail and distraught, tears still falling from her face. Patti watched her Mother, body bent over with oseoporosis, taking short but sturdy steps, aided by her wooden hand cane.
Patti just sat there, staring into the darkness that was now didn't know what was wrong. Sh Betty's bedroom. Patti had come in the house in a great mood, but her codependency with her mother soon brought her down. She'd been explaining about a Beatle song in her head, why was that bringing her Mom to tears Sometimes, since her last stroke, she'd kind of get off topic, but tonight she had said practically nothing..
For a couple of weeks, or maybe a couple of months, things had begun to turn strange in Patti's world. She had a theory that she might soon be married, and living with a husband and three children in California. She was waiting for him to call, or show up at her door. She'd figured out what the newscasters hadn't, and she had the rest of her life to wait for him.
She had proven beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt, that Michael Jackson was not deceased. She'd even explained to her girlfriend how he'd done it' there was an unmentioned drug that he had to know about, and would have had access to through a doctor.
Between her "pain management treatment" and the outlandish drugs doctors give bipolars for symptoms, Patti was almost certain that Michael Jackson had faked his death. She further believed that an Internet contact message had been sent by Michael to her. He was either on the east coast, near New Jersey, or he was near San Francisco. Those were the places the e-mails had come from.
Patti was sure it was only a matter of time until Michael contacted her, and she planned to be ready to go with him. She still hadn't figured out what would happen to her five pets, but Michael was coming for her.
She fantasized how it would be when they were together as a couple. She knew she would be shy, but she knew how much in love she was. She knew he loved her that much too. The more she thought about it, the more in awe she was of him, and her being the one catching the hint and getting pulled in to the secret. I was safe. Who was going to believe me?
"It's not like I'm jumping in my truck with the dogs and cats, and one suitcase, and setting off for parts unknown, but in the state of California. She was 90% sure that's where he had been the past few months. She had two e-mail hints: one from the West Coast and one from the East Coast. Okay, it was more of an unusual reunion group message, and she immediately red flagged it in her brain. She knew one, or both, were from Michael. She believed with all her heart and soul that Michael Jackson was still alive.
She'd had similar back problems, and insomnia, and she knew if Michael had access to the meds that she did, he could have been unconscious all the way to the morgue. The medicine she took knocked her out for four to six hours, and nothing could wake her up. If Michael had been unresponsive, and had a very low heart rate and respiration, he could've still been alive when he was placed in the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
Patti wanted to share her joy with her mother, but Betty totally turned on her. "I knew Mom used to talk bad about black people, but that was a long time ago. She gets along good enough with Vivian, and she's black. She doesn't want me to be with a black guy, or she's got a real bad opinion of Michael Jackson.
These were throughts that raced through Patti's head as she tossed and turned on an unfamiliar bed. She finally fell asleep, shortly before dawn, but awoke abruptly on the floor.
Betty came to the room as fast as her cane would carry her. "What's wrong? What happened? Why are you on the floor?" Betty was so exasperated with her daughter's antics that night, that she didn't hear her reply.
"I was tossing and turning, and my butt fell off the side of the bed." Patti got back in bed, hoping for a little more sleep, and her mother turned off the lights and left the room. It was near to 6:00 am.
more to add . . .