Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mom Stories

Mom having a laugh at the Big Table while someone probably helps himself to a drink in her apartment

I thought I'd tell some stories about Mom since our trip to Blowing Rock, NC is off. Due to Hurricane Ike, not much gas was available in Atlanta or Chattanooga yesterday. My flight originally made a stop in Houston, which I had already changed to Newark–but in making the change, I wasn't even going to be able to leave until late tonight anyway.

Mom didn't seem too fazed by the change in plans. She was more concerned about a large white sweater that had mysteriously appeared in her apartment. Aggles says that Mom believes someone is sharing her apartment with her on the sly. Last time I was there she talked about people stopping in for drinks when she wasn't in her apartment.

Me: But Mom! Why would somebody stop in your apartment for a drink when you're not here?

Mom: Because they're thirsty, I guess. And they always leave the glass they use unwashed and turned upside down in the dish rack. It gets hard for me to keep up with all their dirty glasses.

We were leaving to go to dinner and to see Mama Mia.

Me: Mom, I have an idea. Let's take a photo of the dish rack before we go, then we'll carefully compare the photo to how the dish rack looks when we get back. Then we'll have proof."

Here's the photo. What's interesting is that this kind of logic doesn't seem to work at all.

A few weeks later, on the phone:

Mom: I'm not doing too well.

Me: (alarmed) Why not?

Mom: My apartment is a mess. I can't seem to keep up with all the papers. There are stacks and stacks of papers. Some come from underneath the door. Some come from that little machine. And there are two glasses that really need attention. (She sighs.)

Me: Mom, don't worry about the papers. And let the glasses go! Your apartment looked great when I was there.

Mom: But it changes. People come in and rearrange things while I'm gone. And sometimes they'll come in and help themselves to a drink of water. They left these two dirty glasses.

Me: I have an idea, Mom. Get a marker and some Scotch tape. Make a sign that says Please wash your glass after you finish drinking! and tape it to the dish rack.

That gets good a laugh out of her, anyway.

Thursday the phone rings:

Mom: Honey, are you watching television?

Me: (slightly irritated) No, Mom, I'm working! Why? What's on?

Mom: (voice faltering) Those two buildings in New York ...

Suddenly I realize it's September 11. The only date I've had on my mind for weeks is September 12, the day I can buy my iPhone.

Mom doesn't remember that this horrible event happened seven years ago, and she's alone. I get up from my computer and walk into the other room with the phone. We proceed to have a heart-rending conversation. She's great comfort to me and I believe I am to her.