On Monday, the holiday, I got hit with a cold like a sledgehammer. I dragged myself into work on Tuesday and Wednesday and barely got through the days. I finally caved in and stayed home today, and I’m glad of it. I’m just laying in bed watching Netflix and drinking one hot thing after another. I think I’ve got a low grade fever.
When I came home yesterday I laid right down and after an hour or two my dad hollered that dinner was ready, my mom had made BLTs. I neglected to tell her that I don’t want to eat any more pig products but went out and ate because I was hungry. When I complimented her on the sandwich she made a comment something like, “Well, this isn’t exactly brain surgery. I’d hope a person my age would be able to make a BLT.”
When I was done I sat with my face resting in my hands and my eyes were closed and mom announced, “I CAN’T get sick. I can’t get sick and your dad can’t get sick. We have to do everything we can to avoid getting sick and that’s especially true here in the kitchen.”
My dad said nothing and I said nothing. Pretty soon I went back to bed.
It dawned on me that she’s never asked me how I’m feeling. Never once asked me if I’d like a cup of tea. No. The only thing she’s done is behave as though I could help being sick.
Yes, Ma. I got sick because I stay out late and burn my candle at both ends. Oh, wait, I don’t do that. Never mind. It’s not my place to judge her. I just don’t get her.
She has my dad wait on her constantly all day and all night when she’s in her recliner and her usual excuse for that is that she has a dog in her lap and can’t or won’t displace them.
But when she doesn’t feel good, in spite of the fact that she’s never looked after me or nurtured me in any way, I always offer her things. And even if she says no sometimes I bring it anyway. And I offer things to her all day long, especially if my dad isn’t around.
I’m in a snot based fog right now and can hardly type, but I am having this awful realization of what a truly cold person she is and I mean that in a drastic, horrible way. Truly cold.
I’ve lived here for almost two years and have gone to great lengths to avoid bringing illness into this house primarily because my dad has COPD and a bad cold could lead to death.
But I fear a rough winter ahead of me with everybody at work sharing one cold after another and I don’t want to hear about it from mom or give them a cold. So I’ve started to look at places to rent although I doubt anything will come of it.
Almost every Sunday I feel there is a message for me either in the readings, the sermon, or the songs. Last week someone read this last Sunday:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
And I thought to myself how my mom can’t get along with people at a church and therefore never goes. She considers herself a devout Christian but please just tell me one act that she does to make the world a better place?
Well, she’s kind to her dogs. Perhaps even overly kind. She lets me stay here which is kind of her.
Other than that, I got nothing.
I feel like saying to her, “Mom, there’s a quilting group at my church, and a knitters guild.” But she’s come up with some excuse about how that doesn’t suit her. Plus, I really don’t want her to decide suddenly to go to my church. I know that’s not kind, but God knows my reasons.
She did go with me once, about two years ago and it was clear that the Episcopal ways are just too Catholic for her tastes. That’s fine. I know that it’s not for everyone — I really like that formality. But she’s prefer an informal sermon and someone with a guitar on stage.
I remember that service, it was only the 2nd time I’ve been to my church, before I was committed to it. And she wanted to hold my hand and so I held hers. And the feeling made me feel disgusted and made me want to run and hide.
We are two broken women.
I’m hoping they’ll be leaving soon for their trek at the mall. I want to open my door and get some fresh air.
Yep, I need to leave this place.
Three hours later.
My parents went to a long awaited doctor’s appointment for my mom. When I heard them come home I went out to ask how it went and what he said. After I was updated and still waiting for my tea water to boil I realized that neither one of then have even asked how I am.
There’s this weird blue collar work ethic in my family. You’re just never supposed to have a off day or give in to illness. If you give in to illness, as I have by staying home today, then I have failed. What assholes.
Five months of never asking for time off from my new job, taking today off not only because I’m quiet ill but because my coworkers are really grossed out by my appearance and germs just makes me a loser in my parent’s eyes.
That’s twisted. I’d never do that to my kid.