Point of Personal Privilege
This is not a picture of my mother. It comes pretty darn close. She was 89 when she passed away. She was small, about 5'3" and 95 pounds, somewhat short-cut gray hair. She also had polio, and then late in her life developed something that's called post-polio -- it weakens the neck muscles, and so her head drooped. (When she sat down, though, her head would fall back into its normal position, and sometimes she wore a neck brace.)
When I saw this picture below, I almost burst into tears. I don't mean that in a metaphoric, social media kind of way, where so many people "literally started crying" when they post a photo of a heart-breakingly cute puppy. I mean I almost burst into tears. And when I'd look at the picture again, several times, the same wave of emotion returned, each time
The one thing I know about my mother, though, was that as frail as she was, she was one of the strongest people I've ever known. Again, I mean that quite literally. I won't go through the litany of physical things she dealt with her whole life, but will just say that when that's your life, she just accepted it and plowed on and never complained. As in, never.
(Okay, once. When she was 85 and had a stroke, that happily she recovered from, followed by macular degeneration, I was talking with her on the phone and ran through the litany of issues she'd dealt with her whole life, and then asked something I never had before, "So, mom, do you ever look up to the sky and say, 'Okay, God, I get it. You can move on to someone else now."? There was a brief pause, and then she said as simply as possible, "Yes." That was the closest I ever came to hearing her complain. And that was only because I asked.
I can't say that that's the same for this lady in the photo. I hope it is. But even when you plow on and don't ever complain, life is still there, sometimes pounding you.
And so I look at this photo with great difficulty. And anger at the hoarding. And at the figure in charge who called it all a "hoax.
Leave a Reply.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor