My mother is 16 years old

Remember the elderly woman I brought home from the hospital yesterday? The one with metastasized cancer, a bad heart, plugged-up arteries, and emphysema? The one who requires oxygen 24/7? The one who promised me she would sit quietly at home for the foreseeable future and let her lungs heal from the infection that landed her in the hospital? Promised me.

Yeah, that one.

She went AWOL last night. I called and called and there was no answer and I thought “OK, she’s collapsed and the ambulance is there” or “OK, they’ve both died” or “OK, they are slowly dying on the floor, and can’t quite reach the phone.” It was the same sick feeling I had when my kids would stay out waaaaaay past curfew and refuse to answer their cell phones and I knew, just knew, they had died in a fiery wreck. I’d get in my car and drive all over town until I found them. (This did not amuse them. Or their dates.)

So we drove down to Mom and Dad’s. Pulled in just as they were pulling in. When they saw me, the look that crossed their faces was exactly what my teenagers looked like when I asked them to roll down the steamed-up windows. Busted. Mom was feeling so much better, having escaped the clutches of death, that they decided to go out to dinner. The doctor’s instructions about staying inside, resting, etc.? She said, “oh, it was just a little dinner.”

How was I going to argue with that? You’re right. I wasn’t going to to say a damn thing. If anyone deserves to go out to dinner and eat pie and laugh, it’s my mom. So I didn’t ground her. (Not that I have the authority to do that. Mom definitely has the upper hand in this relationship.)

So here’s my advice, courtesy of my juvenile delinquent elderly mother: eat pie and laugh a lot this weekend. It’s good for what ails you.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My mother, the wild one.

29 Replies to “My mother is 16 years old”

  1. What a nice post. Glad your feisty mother is doing better. I know exactly the look on her face because I wore that expression many times in my teen years. HA.

  2. Way Too Long Comment (Sorry!)

    Well the mental image of you knocking on those steamed up windows amuses the hell out of me for some reason.

    Don’t you hate it when someone has worried you sick and then for whatever reason, you can’t really say anything? This post (brace yourself for extreme geekiness), reminds me of a Star Trek TNG episode (*blushes*) about Deanna Troi’s mother. If I can find it anywhere online, I’ll send you the link.

    I already feel sorry for my future children. I am always scolding people, my brothers, my peers, my friends who are twice my age, my friends’ children. To a friend (old enough to be my mom) who had been out late with a guy several nights in a row: “You need to sleep tonight. At least 6 hours. You know you’ll get migraines if you don’t. 6 hours, promise?” On another friend’s voice-mail (loud enough to wake up my whole floor): “You had better not be f**king hitch-hiking to Ohio right now! That is so not safe.” To a friend with asthma: “You smell like smoke. You are not allowed to smoke! You died last month; they had to shock you back to life, remember?” To the same idiot friend “You can not take 24 credits and work 48 hours a week. You are going to burn out big time. Please drop a few classes.” When my friends go on dates with a new guy: “Take a cell-phone with you. Make sure the battery is charged.” Winter is the worst: “Put your gloves on.” “Zip up.” “Why the hell are you bare-foot?!” “You are sick; go back to bed. Now! Homework can wait.” “Where is your hat? It’s freezing!” My kids are going to hate me. They’ll prolly slip things into my drink just to make me chill out. I can’t help it. I worry. And I’m overly maternal. It’s just the way I am. And yet I suck so much at taking care of myself…

  3. your mom is gorgeous!!! what a fantastic pic. that deserves framing. i can’t wait ’til i have silver-white hair like that. ‘course in my family, i’ll have no hair before it gets around to turning white. oh well.

  4. i’m waiting until the very last day to enter my guess, since we got a few feet less then you here in auburn and ours isnt quite gone yet. it was melting pretty fast but now it started snowing again and only took about 3 hours for everything to be completely covered again. damn, i thought we were done with this… blehh.

    anyways, cute entry! i love the photo, she looks so happy and full of life.

  5. Know that feeling – I had to call my in-laws today and make sure my father-in-law (who had a stroke last week and just got out of the hospital days ago) wasn’t going to snowblow his driveway today 🙂 Teenagers…. what are you to do with them?

  6. Your mother, My aunt

    I am going to have trouble writing without tears…the picture swept me away. There is something very deep bubbling out of me and I am struggling to put words to it. All I can manage is all kinds of cliche’… where has time gone? … My mother, Your aunt died at 65. While I miss her, she was not one to sneak out to dinner and pie. My mother was the cautious one, bathed each evening and in her robe by 7PM. She also got pneumonia, and didn’t come home. Life is so very precious. It is late, and tonight there are tears. But tomorrow I will eat pie and laugh.

  7. That would definitely be scary, not being able to get in touch with her. Glad everything is okay!

    On a happy note for me–we got your book in at work. Of course, it’s in the back room until Tuesday, but I seriously thought about not eating my lunch and just reading on my break. Is that bad?

  8. Awesome Mom & Dad

    It’s truely been a priviledge knowing both of your parents (and you and Lisa….well….ok….BH too) for the last 24 years or more. Yours is a very special family to ours and will always be cherished, thanks. “tQ”

  9. When my grandmother was in decline, at one point from her bed she begged me to bring her some ice cream (strictly forbidden by the doctors, of course). I really wanted to, but was torn about it, and I didn’t. I wish I had gotten her some, because I never got the chance again. Everyone- get out there and have some pie and ice cream! And enjoy every minute. You, too, Laurie.

  10. Taking Care of Mom

    It is so good to see our kids worrying about when we will come home or be in or why we are out so late or do not answer the phone . . . after all those sleepless nights of worry when they were the ones going out . . . good for you Joyce!

    Love,
    Dick

  11. Yikes! Glad your mom is okay.

    Thought you may want to know that PROM is on the Palm Beach County (Florida) Library System’s “Favorite Books for Young Adults” list. This list will be prominently displayed at all libraries until about February 2008. Our patrons love these lists so you can bet a lot of people in PBC will be reading PROM this year.

    And why is on this list? ‘Cause I recommended it! 🙂

  12. Wow, that’s crazy. Totally the opposite of my mother, though who knows what she’ll be like when she’s over. My 84-year-old grandmother would probably go out in a raging hurricane if one of her friends needed her, but other than that, she’s pretty sensible. 😉 I hope your mom continues to do well.

  13. Your mother

    Laurie:
    My name is Donna and I was your sisters best friend all through middle school and high school. I was her maid of honor at her wedding if that helps you to remember….. It’s been a while since I have seen your sister we try to stay in touch but life takes you in different directions and you loose each other. I was thrilled to see this beautiful picture of your mother. Your mom was as much as mom to me as my own. I have great memories of spending time with your family. Please send them my best!

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