BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Some TLC for Mom

Today my mother had surgery. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that, after all she’s very private about her affairs, but I don’t think she’ll mind. 

The surgery was done at an outpatient surgical center located about twenty minutes from her house, which is located about 2,000 miles from my house. I just came downstairs from helping her drink a cup of water through a straw. You see, there were a few other people who could have, and would have, taken her today, but I was the one who got to do it.

My mother knew this surgery was coming and she consulted with more than one doctor, both in her home state and mine (where she spends time each winter). Ultimately she felt most comfortable with the doctor who did today’s procedure, so she scheduled it for my fall break. I love visiting my childhood home and family and friends, but this time I kept my calendar clear. This time it’s all about Mom (although I did manage to squeeze in a quick visit with a wonderful friend last night).

This is really the first time I’ve been able to care for my mother in the ways that she’s cared for me numerous times over the years. She was there when I was in my twenties and told her not to come when I got my tonsils out. I was so glad that she didn’t listen. She was there when my son was rushed off to the NICU right after birth. She knew he would be alright, and he was. She was there when my marriage fell apart and I wasn’t sure what to do. She listened and put me in touch with someone who helped me form a plan, then she helped me put that plan into place. 

I know my mother hates being dependent on anyone, so to me that makes it even more of a privilege to be here for her, even if she doesn’t need much. 

I’m reminded of the time my grandmother had her gall bladder removed. She was a widow and lived alone. After her surgery she came to our house to recover. She slept in my little girl bedroom with the pink shag carpet and eyelet curtains, and I slept on the hide-a-bed in my mom’s study under an old army blanket. My mom put a small tv in my room for her, and together we watched Bobby Vinton. I’m glad my mom was there for her, too. 

Mothers and daughters take care of each other, but when things go according to plan, mothers do the heavy lifting. They wouldn’t have it any other way.


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Back to the Dorm

Year two of college is starting for my kid, and today is his move-in day. Some observations about this event:

  1. I know what to expect this year, so I have far fewer nerves (yes, it’s all about me!).
  2. He knows what to expect, so he packed less stuff (not that he had much last year).
  3. His father and I are taking him together, just like last year, in spite of being divorced for many years. I believe this is a good thing for all of us. He’s still our son and we’re still his parents. This transition, even if it isn’t the first time, is still kind of a big deal, and experiencing it all together validates that fact.
  4. I’m hopeful that I’ll handle year two of him being away better than year one. Year one found me a bit down in the dumps, teetering on the edge of depression. I don’t want to go back there. Yes, I know he’s close by, and yes, he’s been great about staying in touch (weekly dinners and everything) but something about him being out of the house just unsettled me. I’m hopeful that I react better this time around.
  5. I’m excited for him. He’s got this. He’s ready to go back and he’s ready for classes to begin and he’s ready to be more independent again. I’m happy for him.

The building he’s moving into is brand new. It’s built to house 1,600 students. Wow. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person, so far I’ve only gotten a sneak peek from the local news station. The kitchens on the floors are nicer than the one in my house, but I don’t see him using it much. There’s a fitness center in the building and 3-d printers and all sorts of other amenities. It’s a far cry from Gilbert 105, my first cinderblock-walled dorm room. Still, that old building was a wonderful place to make memories; I hope his new home is too.

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When a Dog Breaks Your Heart

Maybe it’s too soon. Maybe I shouldn’t write this. I can’t help it though. I have to. You see, early this morning my friend (who I love like a sister) had to say goodbye to her beloved dog. I know.

He was a beautiful dog. A stunning golden retriever, huge and smiling with massive paws and plumes of fur. He was a family dog, leaving behind my friend, her husband, and her two kids, one in high school, the other away at college. 17264811_10210450952442342_4921562558907777139_n

This dog.

He was beautiful.

He was clumsy.

He was sweet.

He was theirs, and they were his. His people. His family. His home and his life. And what a life he had. He was cherished. He lived well.

His passing is heartbreaking, for my friend, for her family, and for anyone who has ever loved a dog. Even a dog who wasn’t majestic. Even a dog who didn’t steal shoes from the front hallway. Even a dog that wasn’t named for an animated movie character.

For my dear friend, for her family, and for all of us who have had our lives enriched by a good dog, I am heartbroken.

You’re a good boy, Koda. You will be missed.