Tag Archives: Mom

Mom’s Storytelling Project

When my mother got lung cancer she was surprised.  “I’ve smoked for seventy-one years and it’s never bothered me!”  After her diagnosis it became apparent she couldn’t drive anymore.  My brother’s death had hit her hard and the inability to drive compounded things.

One of the things she enjoyed doing was going to visit friends at McDonald’s (where she had worked for eighteen years), getting a senior coffee and holding court.  People gathered around and she told her stories.  We had to keep that going so I started taking her there three days a week for a few hours.  Some days I would sit in my car and play guitar or banjo, other days sitting inside and studying chess.   Other days I take her to doctor’s appointments and chemotherapy.  The chemo was the worst as it was usually three to five hours.  Due to her anxiety issues I had to wait with her, I couldn’t leave.  I decided to make the most of it.

Armed with my iPhone 4s I started taking video of my mom telling stories.  I then would go home and edit them, either on the iPad with Pinnacle Studios or on the PC with Adobe Premiere Elements.  I try to keep them short, none are more than two minutes in length.

So far I have fifteen up.  Some are sad and most are funny.  She is the smartest, funniest person that I know.  Here are a couple.

You can see the rest at my YouTube channel.

Been a Tough Year: Surgery

My appointment with the surgeon didn’t start so well.  I had to sit in the waiting room for a half-hour which in itself isn’t so bad but a woman sitting across from me was crying.  She told me she had been in agony for a month with stomach pains.  I felt sorry for her and impotent.  Surely something could be done.

The surgeon was a big guy kind of doughy.  He was professional and friendly and very clear that although it didn’t look like cancer it could very well be.  We wouldn’t know until it was removed and analyzed.   The surgery was scheduled for my birthday, for some reason that seemed appropriate.

The next day I had to go to the hospital for pre-admission testing.  Once again they had trouble getting blood from me.  Finally an older nurse came in and said she had been doing it for nearly forty years.  She got the blood in seconds with no pain.

I was weighed, questioned and told all of the risks.  I had to sign papers and prepare myself for the surgery.  One interesting thing was when they took my blood pressure and such I was in a little room there was a drawing of  a surgeon cutting into a patient with Jesus guiding his hand.  I told the nurse I’d feel more comfortable if the person guiding his hand had some medical  training.

The night before I fasted and was at the hospital bright and early.   As I waited I called my mom on my cell phone.  I told her I was worried about the surgery.  She said, “Look, it’s not your brain or your heart,  it’s your ass.”   My mom has a way of putting things into perspective.  So I got into my gown was ready to go when a nurse walked in who looked familiar.  She was someone I went to high school thirty-five years ago.  After we got acquainted she told me she was there to shave my butt and give me an enema.  Now that is a high school reunion.

When I told this story to my mom she said, “I’ve had a bunch of surgeries and no one has every shaved my butt!”  I asked her how hairy her butt was and her reply was, “I don’t know, I’ve never looked.”

Then the nurse came in and tried to put in an I.V.  She tried twice and failed.  Then another tried twice and failed.  Then a third nurse tried and got it in on the third attempt.    The anesthesiologist was young, pretty and seemed very competent.

The surgery went well and I took a couple days off from work to recover.  The big deal would be the results.  Although it wasn’t likely, it could be cancer.  If that was the case everything would change.

I went to the surgeon for my follow-up appointment and the time in the waiting room was unbearable.  Finally a nurse took me to an examination room and time slowed.  After twenty minutes the doctor walked in and said, “It’s not cancer, It’s not cancer!!”  I could feel every muscle in my body relax.

He gave me some guidelines on what I should do as far as diet and he strongly suggested that I get a colonoscopy every three years.  This I am going to do.

I dodged a bullet this time.

This scare has really helped me focus on what is important in my life.  I need to retire and get on with it.

Thanksgiving Dinner

I took my daughter to my mothers’ for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s great that my nieces and nephews were there.  It sounds so much more like the holidays to hear the little ones laughing and running around.

After we had our fill my daughter pointed out a note that was taped to a cabinet.  It was instructions to the children from my mother for what to do when she dies.

Dear Children,

When I die please put my cigarettes and lighter and a flashlite (sic) and my Xanex and some change in the casket.   One of my customers’ husband is going to sell water in hell so I can buy some.

Thank You, Mom.