It's started again. Of course it has. Now that she's decided to pull up stakes again and move back to Florida, my mother is badgering me to do the same. It started this morning with a wheedling, disingenuous email enumerating the myriad wonders of Florida living and a nice, two-bedroom villa she found. Since she just told Roomie a few days ago that she bought a new villa next to my grandmother's, I suspect they are one and the same, and that though she bought the villa for herself, she'll now couch it in terms of having done it for me all along. Mysteriously-multiplying villas aside, she extolled the virtues of living near dozens of restaurants, bemoaned my limited lifestyle, and emphasized the presence of "medical care."

The stridency of this last item baffles me. I'm nearing forty, not seventy. I've always thought that when I was a young child, perhaps even an infant, the doctors(perhaps even the same pitiless oafs who told her not to name me since I wasn't long for the world)told her that I wouldn't live much past forty, and now that the appointed hour draws nigh, she's hoping to draw me home so that I can die in the bosom of my loving family.

Well, fuck that.

I don't know if the doctors whispered such a prophecy to her all those years ago, and even if they did, they made plenty of others that never came to pass. I'm not blind. I'm not mute. I'm not profoundly retarded. I survived. I endured. I clawed a rickety life for myself and snatched a few fragments of happiness from this hard old world. If the doctors got one right and my time is growing short, I have no intention of crawling home to spend what remains of it being smothered and steamrolled by people who thought so little of me and what I could've been that when my father drew up his will, it was not to provide for my life, but my assumed institutionalization.

If this is to be my end, then I would have it be such an end, as Theoden says before he rides out for the last time to meet the enemy. I will go to Atlanta for a last dose of Kiwi sunshine and spend time with him who loved me best and watch a few more sunsets over the mountain and read a few more books, and when it is time to quit the battle and go to meet Him who set me on this journey, I will go quietly, without fanfare. I will not be the set piece for one last drama with my mother wherein she plays the grieving mother. Let Roomie scatter my ashes in a shady spot for the ages or use them to plant a tree upon the ridge.

If she isn't preparing for my imminent demise, then I can only surmise that my grandmother's increasing frailty has raised the specter of loss, and of her own mortality and triggered yet another frantic, obsessive episode I'll have to weather. Whatever the case may be, the next few months promise to be an exhausting emotional grind.

Lucky me.
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