This time each year

When I was “junior” in college not so long ago, I got a call from my mother’s doctor. My mother was in the hospital, ‘bleeding out from esophageal varices.’ Now having worked in medicine all my adult life certain phrases, certain words tend to catch my attention. My head was flooding with thoughts. I was at work; I was in Ohio, she in Idaho. The new semester was just about to start. I had very little money. That’s not true; I had no money. Bills, school . . . . . but I could go on Friday when I got paid again and this was Monday. I called my supervisor, who I also hung out with at times – usually on Sunday mornings when we went to Mass for Fr. Bob’s no more than 12 minute and always with props, hard-hitting homilies – she would call our boss. I was to come in first thing in the next morning and talk to Human Resources. I hung up; she called back in a minute. Oh yeah, and we’ll buy the ticket; I could just write them a check payable on Friday, and that way I could leave the next day.

First thing next monring I was there all right. Just before I left to go to HR, our boss told me she didn’t want me to go as “I really can’t spare you.” Now after not hardly sleeping, and especially after talking to most of my siblings and my dad, I wasn’t in the mood for shit. [It’s moments like those that I come the closest to actually believing in G*d because if it were up to me at that second, I’d do something irrational and totally unexpected. But ‘something’ always manages to take the 30-06 from my liquidy hands within my head and returns it to the gun case in the NRA’s closet. ] My visit to Human Resources revealed that my boss didn’t have shit to say or do with the decision of my being able to leave. I could go – it was as simple as that. What was transpiring and what did transpire falls under the Family Medical Leave Act. As the head of HR said to me (with the door shut), my boss – ‘she has shit to say about it.’ That’s the deal-breaker, as the saying goes. So an FYI for many folks.


I got home on Tuesday, and my mother died on Friday, the day after my nephew’s 13th birthday, which no one remembered (except him) until we were at the funeral home two days later. I don’t really want to say too much about my mom. This isn’t the forum for airing clean or dirty laundry, discussing this or that. None of us realized how hard it must have been for her until we were grown and had kids of our own. I remember once when I called my sister to see how my very youngest nephew (now 11) was doing; he was about 10 months old. She told me she was about ready to trade him for a milk shake. He had gotten into the cupboards within his reach while she was upstairs – and – wellll you know the rest. He was happy; she wasn’t.

The first year following my mom’s death, I was agitated as hell beginning the end of December and it didn’t strike me until mid-January as to why. It’s been seven years and it’s a bit easier but it did manifest as not blogging for a bit for damn sure.

An aside is the nephew whose birthday we missed when he was 13; he’s off to Wisconsin to be a missionary. Poor thing. His mother, my sister, married an asshole of a pig who happened to be Mormon. I’ve commented before on him. The day before Matt left we were at lunch at Red Robin and he said the longest he’s ever been away from home was 5 days. Well, Matty – this is longer….

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