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.