One day, my 91 year-old mother and I were running some errands together, and she says to me,
“Just think, one day it’ll just me you, me, and Phillip.” (he’s my husband)
She sounded like a five year-old who really didn’t want her parents to have other children. I imagined her feet not reaching the dashboard of the car.
“What do you mean?” I asked. I was a sandwich generation mom and still had a 14 yr. old and 17 yr. old daughters at home.
“Your children will all be grown and out of the house, and then it’ll just be the three of us,” my mom added with a tone of deep satisfaction.
I began to see my future before me…years and years of caregiving, the three of us on the couch watching movies, the three of us on our 25th, 30th, 40th anniversary trips, the three of us toodling into the sunset….I started to hyper-ventilate. I loved my mom, and I liked she was with us, but I started worrying, what had I created? My mom had turned into that bratty kid at the birthday party who wanted to run the show.
Perhaps this was a tad too much…togetherness.
“Just how long do you plan on living?” I blurted, half-teasing. (I knew that would get her rialed up)
“HEY!” She snapped back, getting the joke.
I patted her hand and we both chuckled.
“By the time your children grow up, maybe you’ll be able to keep a clean house,” Mom teased, stealing the thunder with her great come-back line.
Nice, mom, nice.
Our little verbal bantering was half in jest, half venting (for both of us), and I liked that she could still “dish it out.” Humor is a sign of intelligence. Humor means you’ve still got a few marbles rolling around up there. Later, Alzheimer’s would rob my mom of her wit, but this day lives on. I read an article about quantum mechanics and time by physicist, Paul Davies. He referred to moments of time as spokes on wheel–each moment is a spoke that lives in continuum.
My family and I tell that mom story and many, many others. We have that sort of dark humor thing going on, and if you can’t take being teased, you might be in trouble. But with the teasing comes ferocious love.
So this Mother’s Day, tell your mom stories. Laugh until you snort and tear up. Laugh and remember.
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