Not in the frame of mind for reading

So as mentioned a couple of weeks ago (my post), my mother-in-law “passed peacefully from this life at home, surrounded by family” (obituary as it appeared in the paper) at the end of April after suffering from Parkinson’s for several years. This Thursday, May 20, the small gathering mentioned in the obituary will be held at a banquet room at a tavern in Delaware. As a result, I haven’t been, and am not, in the frame of mind for reading.

Not that I haven’t tried. I read half of one book Nöthin’ But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion by Richard Bienstock and Tom Beaujour. I had been on hold for the book for at least a month, if not longer, after seeing Monika of the blog Lovely Bookshelf mentioning it on Instagram. It’s not that it was bad (ahem, Monika), it’s just that after reading the extensive oral history, I got, and was getting, it: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I didn’t need to hear another story about how Jake from X band met Mark from Y band and then they went to form Z band, and then disbanded two years later to form “a” band because Jake or Mark was an a-hole or, as in many cases, both were, and still are. Maybe another time, but for now, I’ve had enough.

I’m almost at the end of Exit Strategy, part of The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells, and not that it’s not good but I just am not in “the frame of mind” to finish it right now. Maybe this afternoon? But maybe not. My wife and I also began listening to Broken by Jenny Lawson, but we decided to stop so we could listen to a few hours on our way down to Delaware this week (we live in upstate Pennsylvania and it’s about a five-hour drive).

I have five e-books on hold at our library and the Free Library of Philadelphia, but most are several weeks out. The only one that I probably actually will read is The Age of Doubt, the 13th in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri. If that comes in this week, I’ll probably read that because it will be a nice escape to Sicily as the rest of the series has been so far this year.

So, if I haven’t been reading or not much anyway, then what I have been doing? My wife and I are making our way through Modern Family (now in Season 7, I think) and I’ve been watching reruns of Mad About You. I also flip through Pluto TV on our Roku, catching pieces of this and that, from Laverne and Shirley to The Carol Burnett Show to whatever other mindless TV I can find, old Saturday Night Live clips on YouTube. Nothing really is catching my attention on Netflix lately.

And, to be honest, I have been staring into the middle distance at times like this:

Last night, I must have been sitting for a good half hour before I realized that I wasn’t watching or listening to anything…and I wasn’t even meditating (GASP!).

Before you get too concerned, which we appreciate your concern, don’t worry. We’re managing the best we can, under the circumstances, and at least Kim and I have each other for support…and Kim has her sister and family too. We’re also stopping by to see a friend “downstate” on our way to Kim’s sister’s and it’ll be good to see him, and also family and friends of Kim’s mom on Thursday – so it’s not all bad. It’s just where we are…and where I am:

Not in the frame of mind for reading.

15 thoughts on “Not in the frame of mind for reading

  1. I’m so sorry for you and your wife’s loss. I cannot even imagine what you’re going through and really don’t even know what to say – but … just thinking of you and your fam and sending virtual hugs your way.


  2. When I lost my parents, I literally sat in the dark staring at a wall for hours on end. It felt kind of good. The rest of my day was spent napping because grief can be exhausting. It felt good to give into it at the moment and I feel like it was easier for me to come out of it because I listened to my body. For once.

    My TV watching is petering out. I need to finish season one of Marcella on Netflix. It is too long and there are too many possible suspects. I think we maybe have one more episode but no desire to see it wrap up which is probably not a great sign of it’s appeal.


    1. We’re in the midst of it, but at least we both have some time off from work. So we’ll be able to process/try to process together. Today, it’s mostly about getting through, but also remembering the good in her mom’s life.


  3. I am sorry about your mother in law. Grief is long and difficult at any time, but I think right now it seems particularly hard. I am glad that you can drive to be with family, which will surely help. I understand not being able to focus on reading. Go with the feeling and you’ll soon be in the right frame of mind. I’m glad you and Kim have each other.


  4. I did that when my Dad died. Found myself just sitting on the couch, mindlessly staring into space. What the heck is that about anyway?

    Anyway, sorry for your loss and have a safe drive to the memorial.


  5. I understand completely. My daughter-in-law’s mother passed away from cancer two months after her initial diagnosis. I miss Diana (we considered ourselves friends as well as comadres) every day. My mom passed away ten years ago this July and I think about her and miss her every day, too. Sending prayers and good thoughts to you and your wife and your extended family.


  6. Completely understandable that you wouldn’t be in the right frame of mind for reading. It requires focus and concentration, even if the book is a relatively light one, and all your energies are being used elsewhere right now. I hope the upcoming gathering is a comfort for you. We’re doing a similar event next month for my father in law who died last April from COVID after three years with dementia. Finally, what channel are the Mad About You reruns on? I loved that show back in the day.


    1. It’s on Amazon Prime. They still hold up…mostly, through the first two seasons anyway. I’m thinking of you, your husband, and family and sending good thoughts to all of you.


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