Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It's all still relative...

Called my mom for her birthday today. Eighty three years old. Happy 83rd birthday to my mother. Conversations with her have always been interesting and as she's aged they are sometimes really entertaining...

What did we talk about? The prison break in New York. She's just glad that C has graduated and is not up in Vermont anymore because they might be hiding out there. She also is pretty sure it goes much deeper than just the one woman helping them. Cutting through a steel wall is noisy. How did no one hear them? I happen to agree with her. I did think for a minute when they talked about Vermont that I was glad C wasn't there (though even if he was still in school he would have been home on break, and he didn't spend a lot of time just traipsing through heavily wooded areas where criminals might be hiding, but I still thought it) and I cannot believe that they cut through steel walls and steam pipes without anyone hearing them. Crazy.

Her new phone. She had stopped answering her old phone. The only way you could get in touch with her was to text my sister and wait for a call back. It was odd. My sister had said she got mad at her phone and was done with it. Oooookay. Not the weirdest thing my mother would have ever done, but still odd. So anyway yesterday we all get a text with a new phone number for Mom so ta da new phone. Come to find out she didn't get mad at her phone she got mad at the shitty customer service at Verizon. When Dad died she and my brother took in his death certificate to get his contract cancelled. They tried to charge her $250 for an early termination fee. Let that little piece of fuckery settle in a bit. So when they were impressed upon that that was not going to happen they got the extra line removed and Mom listed as the primary. Which stuck for about a year and then they put Dad back on it and started raising her bill every few months. She went from a $30 phone bill up to an $80. And when she would try to cancel they wouldn't let her. Finally she got it cancelled and ordered a new phone from AARP. It's just a phone, she doesn't do anything but talk on it, which is SO weird, that's like the last thing I do with a phone...but anyway. She didn't get mad at her phone, she got mad at Verizon. Which I totally get. I left them a few years ago because they were horrible at customer service.

We talked about the family dinner last night. She's concerned about my aunt and uncle driving across country this summer. She doesn't think they should be driving that far. But she's not sure she should call their son and have him talk to them. She knows it would piss of my uncle but she also knows she would feel lousy if something happened to them and she didn't say anything. I told her it was a hard call to make. When do you tell someone it's time to give up the car keys? Which she then told me she only drives a very little now, and only on back streets, and very carefully. I guess she was worried I might reach through the phone and snatch hers away.

While we were talking about my uncle's balance she mentioned hers is not so good all the time. She said she does okay in the house because they have so much stuff there is always something to grab to steady herself. When she goes to the grocery store they always park close and she gets a cart to steady herself. I suggested one of those little push cart type things that are part walker, part place to sit to rest which led to the following exchange:

"We have two of those, we have a big one and a little one and a wheelchair."

"Oh, okay."

"Marshall uses them. Well he used them."

"He doesn't really use them anymore."

"No, he gets around just fine now."
And we both laughed...

Because why wouldn't you joke with your mother about your dead dad on the anniversary of his death?

Then because we were on the subject of health and death we talked about her new chemo treatments. She is doing well on them, she has another scan at the end of this month so she will be interested to see how everything looks. Though she thinks she should have just come with a zipper since they have to look at her insides so often...I've often thought it would be nice to have a seam so I could adjust my weight easier.

One of the nurses she sees often (she gets an infusion once a month) recently lost a family member and Mom talked to her about it and about how she (Mom) knows that her time could come at any point now. The nurse said she (Mom) seemed to have a really good attitude about it. Mom said she told her that of course she did, she knows exactly where she is going so why wouldn't she?

Which made me smile. Because for her it's true. She believes that eventually God will say, "Ruby?" and she will "go home" and she will see Dad again. And be reunited with the three children they lost and other family and friends that are just waiting for her. So she's really calm about the whole thing. I'm also really nonchalant about the thought of dying. But for different reasons. There was a point before I was born where I wasn't. I just wasn't. There was no me. And that doesn't bother me. Or scare me. Why should I be bothered or scared of the opposite end? There will be a point where I stop. Where there will be no me. And to be scared of the after would mean that I should have been scared of the before, and well, I wasn't. So when it happens it will happen and life for everyone else will go on. And if I've done a good job with my life part of me will stay with them. Which is all you can ask for.

And then she needed to go run errands. I told her to have fun and she laughed, "It's a thrill a minute!" Which is totally something I say to Brent when I tell him about the exciting trip to Target I took.

So to recap I talked to my crazy mother today and got her wacky take on the world and we agreed on the prison break, Verizon phone service, inappropriate humor and dying...


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