To my mom

I spent the weekend giving moral support to my mother, who just got her second knee replaced. It’s a painful operation, and the rehabilitative physical therapy afterwards is no picnic, but it’s ultimately less painful than the bone-on-bone grind her knee was undergoing in the first place. She’s going to come away stronger.

She’s going to be half-cyborg, too, which is AWESOME.

One thing I admire about my mother is that she never sits still. It can be a weakness, of course. It makes lying in rehab a misery to her. I can’t imagine what she was like as a schoolgirl; I look at my son bouncing around and say, “Yup, that’s his grandma all over.”

But I don’t just mean fidgeting. She never lets herself stagnate. She is always working, always growing, always striving and reaching. One of the CNAs who was taking care of her at the rehabilitation centre kept saying, “You’re going to be running in a week!” That won’t literally be true (you’re not allowed to run much with artificial knees), but we all knew exactly what he meant. She’s going to be up and lively and chatting and into everything. She gets such joy out of life. She can find the barest glimmer of joy when there really isn’t much to be found. She takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Seriously, as a half-cyborg she’s going to be utterly unstoppable.

She’s an artist, first and foremost, but is only just getting back to it after about ten years away. Here’s her painting webpage. I wish the scans did those paintings justice; if you click on them they expand a bit, which helps. If any of you feel inclined to leave her a friendly get-well message, you can do that on the contact page. You don’t have to, if it’s weird, but you’d make an old lady happy.

I had to think about it very hard, but I this might be my favourite of the paintings (as of right this minute) —

Orange! Blue! It's mind-blowing in person.

I’ve seen this one live, and it’s just mesmerizing. And it’s so her. She believes the world is as lively as she is, and her paintings are a view through her eyes. You get to put on her goggles for a minute and live where the trees are exciting and vital and beloved and bursting with joy. I like seeing the world that way.

Anyway. I’d end this with “Get well soon, old lady!” but she’s going to be RUNNING within a week and we all know it. I just hope we can keep up.

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