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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Smell

Today I’m writing to the prompt “smell” from Linda G. Hill as part of her Stream of Consciousness Saturday series. It may be rambling, so apologies in advance!

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When I think of smell, I automatically think of the aroma of food cooking. A memory just triggered for me, a memory from childhood.

I recall waking up one morning, entirely on my own, so it must have been a weekend. I was never an early riser, and had to be woken for school. I remember that the house smelled strange. Not bad strange, just unusual.

At first I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, but then, as the sleep cleared away and my senses began to sharpen, I puzzled it out. The aroma was meat cooking. My mother had a roast in the oven at that early hour and it filled the house with its rich, robust aroma. It was such a strange smell for first thing in the morning.

What a small thing to carry around in my memory for so many years.


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An Open Letter to My Birth Mother on Mother’s Day

Dear Birth Mother,

I realize I may be too late with this message. I’m nearly 50 years old, and you, of course, are older. I realize your life may have already come to an end, but I hope not. I hope you are alive and well and surrounded by loved ones. I hope life has been good to you and for you. I hope you have made a contribution to the world and you are satisfied with your place in it. I especially hope you feel at peace with the decision you made to give me up.flat,800x800,075,t.u1

I don’t know much about the events surrounding my birth and adoption. They are closely guarded secrets, although I don’t know exactly why. Even if I am the result of the most scandalous events, they are beyond my control, so why do I need to be shielded from them? I’m just the end result, not the cause of any bad behavior or pain.

Birth mother, perhaps you could shed some light on my origins. Am I the result of an affair? A rape? Incest? Or am I the product of a bleary one-night-stand or an abusive relationship? Maybe you struggled with mental illness or lived in poverty. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change who I am. I just wonder. I just want to know.

Maybe none of those scenarios apply. Maybe you were in love with my birth father but the situation was impossible, for whatever reason. Or maybe you just didn’t want to be a parent at that point in your life. I can accept that too. I can accept anything, because the truth is better than not knowing.

I wonder about you, birth mother. I wonder what you look like and what makes you laugh. I wonder if you have an unhealthy relationship with food like I do. I wonder if you have other children-my brothers or sisters. I wonder if you like to create or if you have an inquisitive mind. I wonder if you’re Irish or German in origin and what type of music you enjoy. I wonder what your voice sounds like, and what your smile looks like.

I wonder if you would like me.

I wonder if you think about me on Mother’s Day and my birthday. I think about you on those days, and on many other days.

Birth mother, do you know who I am? Did you ever see me as I was growing up? Did you know my parents before they became my parents? Did you live in the same town and shop at the same stores? Did you see my wedding announcement in the newspaper? Have you checked out my Facebook page or my Twitter feed or even read this blog?

Does anyone in your world know about me? Or have I been kept secret all these years?

Nearly 50 years of secrets. That’s a long time.

I just want to thank you for being my first mother, and for allowing me to have the life I’ve had. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, know I’m thinking of you and I wish you happiness and peace.

Happy Mother’s Day.

With love, your daughter.