Not this July, Universe.

I seem to have waved a red flag at the universe with my “Not to Get all Deathy on You” posts, cause things got a little scary here for the past few weeks.

First, my amazing mother-in-law was hospitalized for blood clots- she’s super active, does Yoga, walks 4 mile a day, and at first it appeared she’d pulled a muscle in her leg. But actually, they were scary clots that were undiagnosed for several weeks. By the time she was checked in, one had ended up in her lungs. Since pulmonary embolism is the third leading cause of death in the US (Thanks, Google!) you can bet that I’m so grateful to have her here with us. She’s home, and hard to keep down for long, and I’m so glad.

And yesterday, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve had three kids, I’m a grownup, I pay my taxes and whatnot. But nothing in my life has ever made me feel so adult and so two year old terrified at the same time as sitting in the doctor’s office with my Mom and Dad, talking about her treatment plan. He says as far as these things go, she’s in a good place, that if he had to rate it he’d give it a 2 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. Numbers. I like numbers in these situations. Those are helpful, reassuring numbers, right?

I’m so glad I get to live close to my mom and erase the events of my teens and twenties with the easy joy we share in my 30s. It’s been hard to train my family to not tell my husband stories about when I was a teenager, but I think they’ve finally got it down. If it starts with “Remember when Lindsay…” and a sly look, it gets the kibosh. Especially the one about when I conned my brother into helping me carry a 1940’s Frigidaire up two flights of stairs to my room. Isn’t there like a twenty year statute of limitations on stupid stuff I’ve done?

My mom describes my adolescence as hanging onto a bucking bronco. I was angry and sucky and resentful for so many stupid things- She made me wear pink! Braided my hair too tight! Made me go to church! I was chock-filled with the nameless, faceless rage that seethes beneath the surface of nice suburban teenage girls, coupled with a nice sense of entitlement that my parents would always be there for me.

And they always have. Sitting with my mom at the doctor, I realized that now, she needs me.  I’ve always loved her, even as I rolled my eyes at her insistence on good manners, proper appearances. Even as I chafed at her definition of what it meant to be a lady. But all of that’s fallen away these past few years, as she pats my cheek and tells me, “You’re such a good mommy.”

If I am, it’s cause I had one.

This song always makes me feel better, no matter what. The most fun? Turn it on and dance around your kitchen on your tippy-toes, flapping arms like a crazed ballerina. My boys duck their heads when I do this, but my girl flits along beside me. One day, I’ll braid her hair too tight, and god knows no one has to make her wear pink. But I love her with the same lunar pull that my mom has for me.

Check it out- and go dance.:)

Why Walk When you Can Fly, Mary Chapin Carpenter

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Comments (12)

  1. workout mommy Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    oh, lindsay-what a beautiful post! I'm glad that the numbers are in your mom's favor and I will say extra prayers/thoughts for her. Isn't it amazing how everything gets put into perspective when we become mothers ourselves? When I think back to all the STUPID stuff I did, I just cringe and hope that my kids won't do the same things. (they won't right?)
  2. Justine Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Oh, I'm so sorry honey. Give P a big hug from me and tell her I'll be thinking of her. Fuck Cancer.
  3. rockrollmama Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Thanks guys. I know she'll be all right. WM- If my kids put me through half the stiff I put my mom through, I'm running away to the circus now. Even though I earned it.:)
  4. The Laundress Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    I'm sorry. I so really am. Stay positive. It works.
  5. Jules S. Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Oh my, something was telling me to read your blog today, I am very sorry. Keep thinking positive and I know she appreciates how supportive of her you are. I will think happy thoughts!
  6. Undomestic Diva Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Sorry to hear about your mom... but it sounds like the 'numbers' are in your/her favor. Best wishes.
  7. WPoFD Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Friday. Love ya.
  8. Tiffani Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    I'm sorry to hear about your mom's diagnosis, but happy to hear that y'all are in a good place. Wonderful post about the mother-daughter relationship. My mom is one of my besties now. Glad your MIL is OK, too. You've been through a lot lately! Hope things smooth out for you soon. Y'all are in my prayers.
  9. Jen Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Keeping your mom (and you!) in my thoughts and prayers--give her a double extra big hug for me! Your mom is awesome and if anyone can kick breast cancer's butt, it's her. Steve's mom kicked it to the curb last year; she barely let it slow her down! One thing I realize when I think about it is that most everyone I've known with breast cancer is a survivor. But cancer's still scary and chemo still sucks. Hopefully will see you Friday, if not, I will get in touch!
  10. rockrollmama Wednesday - 30 / 07 / 2008 Reply
    Thanks so much, guys. I really appreciate all the love.:) All the thoughts and prayers mean the world to me. xoxo, L
  11. Devilish Southern Belle Saturday - 02 / 08 / 2008 Reply
    I am so sorry! I am glad the number is low on the scale, and so glad that you get to live by her, too. I will be thinking of you both often in the future. *hugs*
  12. Ali Sunday - 03 / 08 / 2008 Reply
    Geez Linds, that is a lot to go through in such little time, so sorry. Tell your amazing mother that I am thinking of her!

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