A good day with Mom…

This past Saturday, I reluctantly agreed to go with my mother on a 2 hour drive out to a family reunion for her side of the family.  DH had an all day training thing, so that left the boys and me… and we picked up my Mom.  I didn’t want to go… I knew I’d only know about 4 people there… 

We got off to a rough start.  I was running late, as usual, and my mom called me worried when it was one minute past the time I said I’d pick her up.  I told her I didn’t think it was a huge deal if we were there on the dot…. was it??… and that I’d be to her place as soon as I could.  When I came down the main road heading to her street… there she was…. out on the corner… bag and cooler in hand… staning  on the side of the road as if she was hitch hiking. 

 I was immediately annoyed.  Her apartment was 1 minute from there… I could’ve picked her up there.  Instead she looked all exhausted and tired of standing there with her bags… and flustered.  I pulled over… and helped her in… told her she could have waited at her apartment… she said we were already late…  Whatever… I wasn’t going to argue with her.. I apologized for being late – but, again, said I didn’t think a few minutes would matter.  The party wouldn’t start at noon on the dot.

As soon as we started moving, she started critisizing my driving.  *sigh*  I said, “are you going to do this the whole way?  If yes, it’ s going to be a long drive!”. 

 She settled down… and to my surprise… we actually had a nice trip.  She talked most of the time… about her upcoming trip to the UK.  I can see why she’d be excited… but, she mostly talked about the other people going… and how she hoped they could actually do some praying and ministering this time.  She went on and on… changed topics quicker than I could keep up… but, I had a radio to listen to.  =)

I asked some questions about her past…  asking if she ever lived with her mom, or if she was always in the hospital.  Mom told me that she lived with her until she was about 3…. and then her Mom was hospitalized, and her dad couldn’t handle her and her 2 brothers.  they were split up… bounced around… until she wound up with an aunt when she was 5 or 6.  She had some horrid storied about some of the places she stayed.  It’s hard to know how much is true… but, I’m sure it was hard. 

 I asked her more about her Dad… and found out that he also was in a mental home. I never knew that before. She always made it sound like he was a salesman and never around… but, she mentioned she would “visit” him in a nearby town, and I honed in on that.  How could she visit him if she didn’t know where he was?  That’s when she told me he also was in and out of a mental home.. more in, than out, his later years…

Interesting…

We got to the reunion.  It was being held in the basement of a church… out in the country. It was the first really nice and sunny day we’d had, and we were stuck in a basement.  Nothing at all for the boys to do.  It was all elderly people there with only a few exceptions.  There were two other boys there we didn’t know.  Actually, I didn’t know hardly anyone.  But, it was good to see my Uncle C, and Aunt L… and a couple cousins.  

The reunion consisted of eating a big lunch, and a ‘business meeting”.  ???  Yup.  You heard me.  A business meeting.  Talking about planning next years event – officially voting officers in and out..  ??  You could tell this was a bunch of very strict baptist country folk.  My dad’s side, or husband’s side of the family would have had a beer keg and all night party… LOL. 

I gave up on having fun, and tried to learn a few things… who was who… how my mom fit in… how I fit in.  It’s a confusing family to figure out!  Would have been nice if they let loose a little and actually tried to have a little fun… but, I did learn a few things.  And, other than my one cousin commenting on how much weight I gained… and going on about how much she had lost (even though she was still bigger than me) – it wasn’t too bad.   

 And, my mother was awarded a small collection they took up… they donated it to her to use on her missionary work.  Just what she needed…another “sign” from God that she should be going.  I don’t try to stop her from going…. but, I don’t think it’s the best thing either.  Financially, I think she’s getting herself in a lot of trouble… and I worry she will want to come live with me when the money is gone.  (YIKES!)  Also, I do think it’s her way of running away… trying to feel important and like she’s not only NOT sick.. she’s great!  She’s a missionary!  But, maybe she needs that… maybe it’s the only thing keeping her together.  I don’t know.  I do think she’s got guts at her age traveling around… and I give her credit for following her heart/dreams… and/or God. 

 So, my mom was glad to have us there.  And, I felt good for supporting her, and spending time with her.  I also got a neat piece of a plant that came from a plant that belonged to my Great Grandmother…  pretty cool… and many people commemted on how well behaved and cute my boys were.  I think, my mom was proud of us and enjoyed having us there.

The ride home wasn’t bad.  Except when I made the mistake of asking how she met Dad again.  My bad.  I should’ve known not to bring him up. I got an earful more than I wanted. 

She went on and on about saving some boys life in a pool…  like most of her stories, there was probably some truth in it and one has to decipher it.   But, I could tell she was not clear herself on the story as she tried to tell it.  It was a confusuing story… and hard to follow… there was a boy who disappeared the shallow end of a pool… nobody could see him, and they were all stepping around trying to find him… and she stepped his arm and pulled him up…  he’d been underwater for about 15 minutes, and she resuscitated him.  This was the reason she met my dad, she was visiting this boy in the hospital, and my dad was visiting his brother.  Then she went on about what a jerk my dad was… and I was sorry I asked…

Oh – and this was amusing…  As we were driving, I wondered out loud…”I wonder why most big barns are red?”…  My mom went off very matter of factly about the early settlers were all devout Christians, and how the red was to symbolize the blood of Christ…  and on and on.. but, with more sketchy details as she went along… and she started losing steam… and I said, “you have absolutely no idea, do you?”.  She laughed, and said something to the effect that I was smart… LOL

 When we finally got back to our neck of the woods, my mom offered to get Pizza, and we went back to her apartment.  She’s always wanting us to come over, and we rarely do, so, she was glad.  The boys enjoyed her, and vice versa. 

 All in all…  a good day with her…  she didn’t really do anything TOO off the wall or annoying…   but, I hope I don’t have to go next year.   I think one of my brother’s should have to go… =)

~smj

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3 Responses to “A good day with Mom…”

  1. Busy Reader Says:

    Mrs. SaveMeNot,
    Thank you for the blog. I want to encourage you to continue writing. I’m in middle age also, and I’ve found writing about the past helps me understand life and myself more. There are many surprises back there, and only from this distance are they discovered.

    About the Mommies . . . Last weekend my wife and little son left to visit family overseas. It was lonely without them. I began preparing our upstairs bathroom for painting, and I had a couple of drinks to dampen the loneliness. I phoned Mom to check in, and before I knew it I was on the witness stand again, answering for my unbelief in God. I didn’t want to cut her off, and I didn’t want to argue. I tried to gently explain that I experience a world without Administrator. Mom was coming on strong when the doorbell rang.

    There stood two handsome young men, wearing the uniform and tags of Mormon missionaries. I welcomed them in, and hung up with Mom. I was so glad to have company. We talked. I tried to discuss without arguing. When the taller boy told me he’d be with God forever in heaven, I asked, “Tell me about that, what will that existence be? Will you have eyes? Will you eat, will you sleep?”

    “It will be pleasurable. What gives you pleasure?”

    “Sex and walking on the beach. According to the New Testament, I won’t be able to do either in Heaven. Just consider this sometime when you’re alone: Even if Heaven is waiting for us, it’s very much beside the point. The point is here and now. If God comes down in five minutes and says you can choose between eternity with Him and a walk on the beach with your friend, take the walk on the beach. The beach is real. Heaven, you have only imagined, and not in much detail. Pay attention to the life you know.”

    They left after half an hour or so, taking back their tale of the crazy atheist.

  2. glandheim Says:

    I agree that you should keep posting.

    I’ve known a lot of women with mothers a lot like yours. It’s like some kind of horrible infestation. They get in your head when you’re a little kid, and try to control you the rest of your life by telling you what God says you should or should not do.

    Where did all these mothers get this pipeline to God? I haven’t found one laying around anywhere. It’s a control tool. You’re set up in a situation you can’t win. If you don’t argue, then you are sinning and need to do what your mom says. If you do argue, then you are disrespectful, and just sinning in a different way. Plus, you’ve “started” an argument and made your mom feel terrible, you horrible, horrible person.

    I know it’s difficult, but think of them as just slightly deranged. They can’t be argued with, but there is no reason to take them seriously. Nod your head and agree and make sure they take their medication on schedule.

    Cheers!

  3. samanthamj Says:

    Thank you BusyReader, and glandheim for the encouragement and feedback.

    BusyReader – your comments about inviting the Mormans in were amusing and interesting.

    My mother used to also invite Mormon or any preachers in when they came knocking at our door. I use to watch with amusement and amazement when I was a kid. The other neighbors all would hide and lock their doors, but, not my mom. She would start off very nice, invite them in, and then, quote bible verse after bible verse at them… (she read the bible cover to cover many times)… and she would start telling them why THEY were wrong and going to hell… and, try to convert them. They would suddenly get this look in their eyes like.. “ummm… we have to go!”… and start backing towards the door. They had a hard time getting away… LOL

    glandheim – I haven’t found that pipeline either – although, I looked under my mom’s bed several times. I use to tell my friends when I was a teen “whatever my mom says… just nod and smile… don’t talk back, or ask questions.. it will just make her go on and on… just nod and smile”. This was before I ever realized she might be mentally ill… and, since she was never diagnosed, medication has never been an option – but, it would probably help! I know I have felt the need to self-medicate myself a few times… LOLETINF!

    Thanks again guys…
    ~smj


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