Photo courtesy of Miriam Doan (www.miriamdoan.com)
My mom looked a hot mess when she picked me up for my surgery appointment yesterday. Bags under the eyes, unkempt hair, weary demeanor. "I couldn't sleep worrying about you. I can't help it. I'm a mom."
I've explored my relationship with Ruthie a lot of late, especially as I look to Marc and his relationship with his parents and my friends' discussions of how their parents are eager for them to wed, have babies, come home for the holidays or just take better care of themselves. Family dynamics are fascinating to me, especially since mine have always seemed so simple. I've discovered recently that it's precisely because my mom didn't ask me to move home, or beg and plead and insist, that we did. That we wanted to. That we couldn't wait to be back and have Sunday dinners or Saturday lunches or anything in between.
Calling my mom is like a reflex, like startling awake after a nightmare or throwing a hand across the chest of a car passenger when you've braked too hard. It can't be helped. When she was admitted for triple bypass surgery in October, reflexes went into overdrive. I didn't know how to tell her that she had to fight this and fight it hard because I need her around. For a long time. Sometimes I don't understand how she can be so generous, thoughtful, strong and magnetic all at once. I saw her weak and sad and vulnerable and still she was The Great Momini, even more so for being human?
I wanted her with me yesterday because there's this reflex of calm from having her near. There's just no other place she should be than close to me. And that's final.