Apparently one never stops being a mommy

Because I have a cell phone plane which allows me to call my mother long distance and talk for as long as I want, when she wants to talk she calls me and then hangs up. When I see her on my missed call list, I call back. I noticed yesterday morning she had called the day before (my birthday). I called her back.

She had lists she had made me. When she first called she just wanted to tell me that there would be lists, but now she has written them and the Parkinson’s makes her handwriting bad, so she wanted to tell me what was on them. It is important of course because I will be living in her house for a few days while she is still in the hospital.

The first section itemizes everything that she thinks could go wrong (AC, refrigerator, garage door opener, etc stop working) along with the name and number of the person I should call if it happens. After she finished that list she told me that if I can’t read her writing, I should just call her friend who knows all of this. Then she told me about which plants need to be watered, and what food was in the house, and where she left money so I could buy more food, and that she had filled the car with gas so I wouldn’t have to. As I will be getting there about the time she is moved from intensive care to a regular room, she has a small pile of books on a table next to her favorite chair. Will I take those to her? And thermostat for the air conditioner is on the second floor next to the linen closet. She keeps it set at 78 or 80 degrees and that keeps it cool on the first floor, but I can change it if I want. And all the sheets on all the beds have been washed so I can sleep wherever I want. And it isn’t easy to find the hospital, so do I want her to leave directions?

I said “thank you” and “I understand” at all the right places, but I was also laughing. There was something adorable about her needing to take care of me even though I am quite the adult. I know though, and she confessed, that a lot of this was about staying distracted so she wouldn’t be nervous. She keeps finding things to do so she won’t think about it. She just keeps making lists. I told her I do the same thing.

I made my husband a list of everything the boys know how to cook for dinner. Each item includes the page and book where the recipe can be found, and many have notes that the boys don’t need (e.g. “I usually just use curry powder  instead of all these separate spices”). Mom thought that was funny.

Oh, and my aunt comes over every day and asks how my mom is feeling. It is driving my mother up the wall. They found the cancer early which means that Mom has no symptoms. All she is feeling is nervous about surgery and she doesn’t want to talk about it! But my aunt really needs to be helpful, so if I can need her help some that would be great. I promised I would. I told her that if Auntie gets really bad I will fake an emotional breakdown and walk out so she will follow me and comfort me and leave Mom alone. Mom sighed with relief and thanked me.

All three of us are coping by trying to take care of other people.

Mom said that she found herself wondering why she was bothering with this considering she had the Parkinson’s. Sometimes she just feels like she is old and and it is time to just accept that and … you know.

I told her that she was allowed to feel like giving up. She wasn’t allowed to DO it, but she could think about it as much as she wanted.

She laughed.

And this morning she is in surgery. I don’t know how long it will take, though I expect it will be a long one. I am now distracting myself by writing here.

Mom never said anything about my birthday. I think she forgot about it entirely.

She gets a pass on that one this year.

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One Response

  1. Happy Birthday!

    I’ll be thinking of you and your mom today.

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