I went to see my mother at Haro Park Center where she has lived the last 4 years, and where she survived the Covid pandemic that hit Vancouver in March 2020.
It had only been a week but seeing her come towards me took my breath away. She appeared more frail. Smiling so bright, her electric neon pink suit and the hydrangeas she was walking past confused my line of vision.
I caught my breath, but she would have none of it, carrying on as if she hadn’t a care in the world. Keely, a nurse for over twenty-seven years - always a delight in her genuine care for residents, was laughing with Trudy.
Note the Valentine socks I got for her: no one can ever match the Trudester for her fashion pizzazz.
With Covid restrictions, I must wear a mask and be separated from her with distancing, but this is better than nothing. I do wonder when the serology testing they began months ago will indicate how transmission occurs - and, more importantly - how families can be gauged as carriers or not. I also wonder, if we will ever find out.
However, today is today and today is a visit.
As we begin talking, the one elderly gentleman and his regular friend who visits Haro departed from the building up the long winding walkway. They seldom address anyone at anytime. But, Trudy would have none of it.
She called out in her clear, loud and, non-filtered voice, “There’s grampa!” A voice that contained the childlike chiding of one really saying, “…and don’t try to pretend you’re not….”
No comment from either gentleman as they walked further away. But, if silence was audible the backs of the two 80 year-olds seemed to say - as menacingly as two old guys can - ‘fuck off.’
Forever unperturbed, the Trudester, shrugged her shoulders - did I mention she has no filter? Never did? And, that now she is going on 90 years old, it’s apparently ‘cute?’
All I can do is laugh to myself. Life is absurd and so are all the animals in it. Be amused.
She looks right at me and into me, like only and all the Virgos in my life can and do — and says to life’s camera: “I like saying hello,” swaggering her sounds like she is in black leather, “like it or not.”