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I wrote to a friend undergoing surgery that "there's always at least one turn in the path you never see coming."  Life in the past three years has been a Gordian knot of turns, kinks and surprises .  I have always expected change and have had plenty in my life.  I have tried to not cling to the old, but to enjoy the change as part of a collection of experiences.  I have sworn I would never live a dull life, but life in New Orleans is like living in a cross between Sordid Lives and The Fantastics, with some 3 Penny Opera thrown in. Even crazier than it sounds. That's why we live here.

  My lovely husband, bluesman Blue Max, has been seriously ill for a year and a half. At the same time, I stepped off the ledge into PTSD/MST darkness, ground to shreds by the VA.  Hurricane Isaac ripped the backroom off the house, and the State has been breaking every preservation law by using FEMA money to turn a school in our historic district neighborhood into a destructive nightmare. It's a block away from my house, which is the main 'no trucks' truck delivery route. We have not begun to figure out how much damage they did, but the beautiful brick school building, with cypress floors and marble stairs, now sports a rear end of blond brick and giant doormats. A whole block of butt ugly.   Our homes are cracked, unstable and no longer structurally sound.

That skims the surface. Dead friends, idiots and innocents.  The parades, the killings. Lost souls and great escapes.

And the Mother, witty little bitch that she can be, put a 120 degree turn in the path I never saw.  

After 40 years of scrupulously avoiding anyone under the age of 21, my step-daughter, her fiance and her one year old daughter are coming to stay with us as they get established here in New Orleans.  Her fiance is a welder - he'll be employed instantly.  She has always dreamed of being a pediatric nurse.  This is her shot.

I never wanted to be a parent. Babies annoy me.  Children are devoutly to be avoided except to smile admiringly and make eye contact. I do my best to be kind and straightforward, but prolonged contact with the young ones has been a deliberate omission in my life.
And now......
Hi kid. I'm your Auntie Mame. Actually, I'm her Tutu. (Hawai'ian for mother's mother.  16 years in Hawai'i, may as well honor them.

My young maiden days are gone, my mothering stage has been within the formal strictures of military commands, and now it is time to become the Elder.  Oh.

As a life long Pagan/kitchen witch I am suddenly confronted with a young women of enormous potential and her child.   It is my responsibility to use all the experiences of my life to help guide 2 new female lives.  As a trained thinker and writer, the time has come to put my brain back to use in ways I never have.  I suspect it will be an amazing trip.  It might be good for me. The current me isn't all that great. Time to trade it in on a newer, different mental framework.

Pain shared is halved, joy shared is doubled Spider Robinson.

In the future, I'm going to be sharing. you're welcome to follow along. I can promise it will not be dull.

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Originally posted to nolagrl on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 12:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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