My mother will be 74 in October. I moved here to West Palm Beach in 2004 to be on the radio and keep an eye on her. Somehow the roles have reversed in the past two years since I have not been working and now she sees me as a kid again. It’s almost as though she relishes in the fact that she can mother me again. I was always a saver and banked my money. My biggest fear has always been being broke and homeless. I honestly believe that if I started working again my mother would think that her purpose in life has been eliminated. We actually had a conversation the other night about life insurance polices…..mainly mine. I found out that parents really don’t want to discuss your eventual demise…they morph into an endless dialogue about the medications they are on and how they can’t keep up with technology.
My mother still cuts her own grass, goes to church every Sunday, works full-time and can take a knife and a cucumber and make it into a work of art. She offers strange words of wisdom: “Take a shower every morning to wash all the viruses off of you.” The battery on her cordless phone is going and her solution is to plug-in her old land line. She says things that I don’t know how to respond to: “I’m taking the long way home because it’s raining and I can’t see in the dark.”
She refers to her answering machine as a “recorder” and always asks me about relatives that have passed; “Do you remember Aunt Fran?” Aunt Fran died 20 years ago…it’s not like Spock gave me the Vulcan mind meld. I can’t get off the phone without her asking if I washed things I eat. “Wash those tomatoes…people like to pick through them.” God help society if there weren’t chickens because eventually the conversation will turn to eggs. “Everything is good in moderation…you need eggs for protein. I remember Grandma cutting the head off the chickens and plucking the feathers. We used to pick our own eggs and now they are two dollars a dozen.” How do you respond to that?
I plan on throwing up the white flag and saying “Happy Mother’s Day!!!”