I did one of the things that always makes me feel better. I went to my parents. We had dinner, Grace & Debbie were over. We went through family albums. They chided me about my drama. Grace laughed about my mother wanting me to stop talking when I was crying. Then when my mother spoke and I thought it was bad news - I told her not to tell me. Way to communicate!
Anyway, we were laughing about a cousin of our grandmother's, Joe. Joe's mother, Maggie and my grandmother's mother, Elizabeth were sisters. My grandmother and he were close when they were young, but later didn't see each other much.
Warning - some people won't think this is funny.
One day there was a knock at the door and my mother opened it (from the time I was eleven, we lived in my grandmother's house). Mama Kelley looked over my mother's shoulder at a young man and said "Joe Conway!". He laughed and said he was Joe's grandson, but his grandfather was in the car and wanted to talk to her. After the way she recognized him, he didn't need to ask if she was his grandfather's cousin.
So Mama put on her coat and walked out to the car. Joe was on his way home from the hospital after having his leg amputated and he had insisted on being driven to Charlestown. I don't know where he lived, but he had moved away quite a while before.
Mama asked how he was and he said mournfully - "I've lost my leg." Mama said "Well you have another." Then they both laughed. He said he was so glad he had come, she was just what he needed. Mama said she was glad he came too.
Ok, now I know this is not funny to most people, but everytime we hear/tell this story we crack up.....including today. Then I noted that three of my mother's relatives had lost a leg to diabetes. We turned the page from Joe & Maggie's picture to one of my mother's grandmother. My mother said "Look, it's another one of my one-legged relatives".
If you complained to Mama about anything, she would laugh or poke fun. I can remember telling her I had a headache and she told me it might be a brain tumor. She never pandered to my overly dramatic nature.
One time my Uncle Jim came in and was very rushed and harried. He was talking a mile a minute, complaining about something while he made a meatloaf sandwich. Just as he went to take a bite he asked if it had onions because she knew onions gave him heartburn. Mama said no. I was startled, there were always onions in the meatloaf - always. After he inhaled the sandwich in three quick bites, he cleaned up his plate, kissed Mama and left. I looked at her and before I could say a word she said "If he gets heartburn, it's because he ate too fast."
A complete lack of sympathy with sarcastic people - it was just what I needed. Plus they told me the right thing about Stations - my mother, Jennifer, Grace....all said "If it upsets you, don't go." Knowing I would say "Well, no, I can't stop going." LOL! Reverse psychology at work.
When I poured my heart out to SB about not being kind or understanding or patient he spoke to me as he would to comfort a child. He said in his best, most comforting voice "But Maggie, honey, you were never patient." Right. How ridiculous for me to think that cancer and adversity would make me a better person, lol.
4 years ago