where the writers are
Daughters and Mothers

Last week I was in Qualicum on Vancouver Island.  My mother (was) moved to a Senior "Facility" there at Christmas, a sort of cruise ship with deep upholstery, hairdresser-in-residence and daily calendar of events.  Drinks and dancing at the bar on Saturday night.  Singalongs after lunch.  A finished jigsaw puzzle is laid out on a card table in the "library":  Do not disturb.  I don't know what tone to adopt.  I may be here myself some day.  Things could be worse.  I never was one for team sports.

In the parking lot I take my mother's arm.  She shrugs it off.

 I ask her about her new doctor, a geriatric specialist who will prescribe anti-depressants and make house calls.  House calls!  My mother, truculent as ever,  doesn't think much of her.  "I prefer a man," she says.  I ask why, calmly.  Yes, calmly. The doctor was not my choice, I need not feel involved.  "I think men are better at things," she says.  I count to ten, I say nothing.  I'm learning.  I reflect upon my mother's influence on my education.