September 24, 2006

Collages plus...

The two collages I will insert here were done in the hospital this last time, while I was on CO (constant observation). The first was assigned to me as "Make a collage out of all flowers," while the second was simply, "Now do one with only words." Thus was born Flowers with god, and Meltdown.. The two version of Meltdown are posted only to see if I could make more of it legible to you in two different shots, though they appear identical (they aren't quite.) Click on them if they are small and they should enlarge enough to be seen much better.

Today was rough, a monster migraine all day, coming after two days during which I could do nothing. On Friday my father visited me, and left me rather upset, what with all his talk about dying from cancer or heart disease in 2-5 years - "probably." I don't know what he wants me to get from this sort of communication. Does he want me to feel guilty? He KNOWS what put me in the hospital in July, the certainty that I had caused his cancer! So why is he -- in private, without anyone hearing him -- telling me now all the details about how he is not going to have chemo, and is going to die and how he has the worst cancer type and it will come back, he just knows it...on and on. Knowing all the while what I'm dealing with with Joe. It just seems a bit cruel and -- something, I dunno what. I don't know why he tells me these things! I don't understand what he wants me to get from the information! Does he think I'm not under enough stress already?!

Sorry, but it upsets me, because Joe oon the other hand remains so accepting and upbeat about everything, and never complains or dwells on the negatives of what is happening to him. He remains as grateful as ever to Zyprexa for giving him his sanity, and says that this gets him through the day in fine shape. This, even though I know his early morning headaches are due to low oxygen levels in his blood overnight (no, we still have not been called about the BiPAP breathing assist machine or the others) as well as his fatigue and frequent awakenings.

This is a short entry, I realize, but it has been a trying day, what with not being able to keep a thing down for hours and a headache that only remitted about a hour ago. So forgive, and understand that I am not relapsing into silence, just resting after an onslaught.

Posted by pamwagg at September 24, 2006 08:04 PM


Hi Pam,

I like your collages. The colors are so vibrant and beautiful. I think you should make more of them.

I'm sorry you had a bad day with your father.

Maybe it wasn't a guilt trip your father was conveying. aybe he wants to share his pain with you. Because of your own illness and the pain you've gone through, maybe he thought he had something to share with you. Also, it could be that your father is worried about dying and leaving you behind. It could be he is trying to prepare you for his eventual death. He may be a man filled with worry and guilt.

Of course this is all speculations and putting a voice to my own worries on the subject of my own mortality.


Posted by: yaya at September 26, 2006 04:56 PM

Dear Pam--

I think Paula is right in suggesting that your Dad quite possibly does not mean to implicate you or cause you distress. It could just be that fear, fatique and sorrow are affecting his judgement as he attempts to communicate.

Your collages, particularly Meltdown, are very powerful.

Please rest and feel better.

Posted by: Cynthia at September 25, 2006 10:12 PM

Dear Pammmy,
It always makes me unhappy to hear that you are not feeling well. This, of course, you know. I also remember your joy at your reconciliation with your father after such a long period of being estranged. I am at a loss as to what I can say to you that would express my opinions without appearing to be judgemental or innappropriate.
I must say this, however. From the many things you have told me and from the brutal honesty with which you portray your father in your book, I simply cannot understand or even attempt to justify some of your father's behavior. It appears that you cannot come to any satisfying conclusions either. I assume it just comes down to the enormous variations that exist within the human condition. Unless someone specifically tells us his or her intent when he or she acts or speaks in a certain maner, we can not possibly know the antecedents of the behavior that we interpret as hurtful. It may well be that your dad is sharing his own personal hell with you, never intending to imply that you had anything to do with it. I don't know the answers. I can only give you a stab at my conjectures and hope that your next visit will not be as painful.

Lovingly, Perkless

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at September 25, 2006 05:49 PM

I do collages, too. Then I draw the collage and color it in with colored pencils. It takes a lot of concentration, though, something I need more of. I have had one of these collage pictures in the making now for 5 months and finally put it away because I just can't sit down and work on it.

Donna Carolyn

Posted by: Donna at September 25, 2006 03:07 PM

Dear Pam,

Sorry to hear about your miserable migraine. Also sorry to hear about your father's inappropriate behavior. You ARE under a lot of stress and you haven't even been home from the hospital for very long. I think you have every right to be a bit miffed with him.

I just finished watching a film called NORTH COUNTRY and a character in it has Lou Gherig's disease (not sure about the spelling of the last name). It made me think of Joe and how strong he must be and I'm glad you write about him. I think you should write even more about this wonderful person. He sets a good example for us all to follow, including your father.

I was pleased to see a couple of your collages. I especially like the word collage. Have you done many? While I was in school I did collages also, though I'm not sure where I've put them. I just might go rummaging for them. They helped me get through some rough spots.

I hope tomorrow will be much better for you,


Posted by: Kate K. at September 24, 2006 11:30 PM

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