i've been spending more time with my mom lately. some days are good and other days, like today, are just hilarious. i keep waiting for chevy chase to pop out of the background and shout "cut! great job people, that's a wrap".
last week i took her shopping, dragged her around while i picked out which box of cereal would best fit in my pantry. my husband and i had a little squabble over nothing minutes before i was to go meet with my mother so i was not in the best of moods. i am certain that i was pissy and rude almost the entire time i was with her and of course i didn't explain why my mood was sour. so while driving her back to her apartment i felt overwhelming burst of guilt for being in a nasty mood. we were only together for a few hours. i should be more tolerant. i should be more understanding. i should be more....
she was babbling and i was just nodding my head and not really listening to anything she was saying. she was talking about her car, how she needed to go to the car wash, wash her windows, than the long story spilled out...
on my last day off i decided to wash my car windows, they were filthy. so bad that i could hardly see through them when i'm driving. so i took my windex and my paper towels outside and started spraying and wiping down the windows, i did the front windshield and both sides before i realized it wasn't my car...
what?!!? omg! what?
yeah, can you believe it? well by the time i realized it wasn't my car i was almost done. so i figured, what the hell, might as well do the whole damn thing. so i did. man those windows looked good too. can you believe i wasted all my paper towels on my neighbors car? didn't have any left for my car windows. and of course she never noticed a thing, the damn birds shit so much, it's impossible to keep the cars clean anyways, i don't know why i bother.
she laughed the entire time she was telling me this story. than she laughed about laughing, said she could really believe what she had done, and laughing was better than crying. when i pulled up in front of her apartment she pointed out the car she mistook for her own.
OMG! it was nothing like her car. it wasn't even the same size, shape or color! completely different make and model!
today she just received her first social security check. we talked about the next step in her retirement goals. she was happy, seems comfortable with the plans of no longer working. we said good bye and hung up the phone.
she calls me back five minutes later and tells me happy birthday.
what? mom, my birthday was last week, you came to my house, we had pizza and beer together.
my mother has misremembered almost every unpleasant or painful event in our life together. why should now be any different? she is aware of what she is loosing, that her mind, her memories, are slowly slipping away.
my older sister feels sad for her; sorrow and pity. i honestly don't know what i feel. mostly i am impatient, irratated, and angry. i don't know who is more confused by my lack of empathy, my mother or myself. for now my mother chooses to laugh at her mindless mishaps and i will continue to laugh with her. what else is there to do?
so like my mother, i will let everything else roll away and enjoy the laughter.