Blessings Of An Unusual Kind

My mother, who is 87, has been talking lately about the tea kettles.

“The tea kettles are doing this, the tea kettles are doing that.”

It took me awhile to understand that she is talking about the recent American political group, The Tea Party! I had been thinking, ‘Why? Why are tea kettles out doing things?’

My mother and I are sitting on her deck, watching the cars go by on the road on the other side of her wide field. My mother smiles broadly and her white hair glistens in the sun. She’s wearing her little red, dog-hair decorated sweater over her blue, green and purple top with the coffee stains on the front, with hot pink sweat pants and high rider tennis shoes.

“You look good, Mom,” I say. “I’m glad you stopped that cancer medicine. You don’t look terminal to me.”

This is the medicine that cost $4400.00 (!) a month and caused Mom’s nose to swell to the size of a small potato.

I had come over to visit her after she had been on the medicine for a few days. I kept looking at her face. Something wasn’t right, but what was it? She didn’t look like my Mother. I had studied her, carefully.

“I think your lipstick is wrong,” I said. “It’s going up over your top lip somehow and it seems odd.”

“My face is feeling odd,” my mother said.

After several cups of tea and much musing, it hit me. Mom’s nose was growing!

Several days later when I dropped by, not only had Mom’s nose puffed up but her entire face was dark red and her face and head were covered with large, hard lumps, white pustules and sores. She was going mad with the itch and the pain.

“Oh yes,” we were told by the doctor, “that can be a side affect. It’s a good one, it means the drug is working.”

Over the next several weeks our Mother became an irritated, bickering banshee, which is completely unlike her natural nature.

She finally stopped the drug saying, “If I have to do this to stay alive, I would rather not live.”

Now, as we sit on Mom’s deck, it’s been maybe three or four months since she quit the drug and the woman looks good. And, she feels good. Apparently, being terminal isn’t so bad, at least for my mother. As she tells us, “We’re all terminal.”

“Mom,” I say, “you and your cancer are very friendly. I suggest you just continue to do whatever it is you two are doing, together.”

Mother laughs and agrees.

We clink our tea cups together and I launch into a story about my ex-boyfriend Bill, the man who now lives in my studio and pays me rent.

“He came into my part of the house last week,” I say, “and I told him I was just leaving for my regular Thursday art class. He said, ‘Well, that would be a good thing, if it was Thursday.’

“I looked at him and I said, ‘It is Thursday.’ He said, ‘No, it isn’t.’ I said, ‘Yes, it is.’ We went on like that until I started to wonder if it was Thursday. I pulled the newspaper I had just read, out of the trash, and by golly, it said it was Thursday. I showed the paper to Bill. He got really upset and said this meant he’d missed the dollar Whooper Burger at Burger king’s that he buys every Wednesday. He got very upset about missing Wednesday and slammed his door into his studio.”

Mom thinks this is funny.

“And then,” I say, “he went to work on Saturday because he had accepted a Saturday assignment. He drove an hour to get to the place. A couple of hours later he came dragging back into the house and said it was the wrong Saturday!”

“And then, just yesterday I heard his phone ring really early, like at 6:00 AM. Several minutes later he came in and told me he had to drive back to work, an hour away and an hour back, because he had stuffed the company’s office keys in his pocket when he came home the night before from the night job. And, of course, they needed those keys to get into the office!”

Mom laughs some more because she knows how Bill is. I have always asked him, ‘What world do you live in? You are never in this one!’

When I first met Bill he took me back east to meet his mother and family. We borrowed a brother’s car to go to town and get something at the store. While driving there he managed to hang the car up on a curb and blow a tire out and tear off the hubcap.  He got out, looked at the damage and acted like it happened all the time.

As I found out later, these things apparently do happen to Bill all the time. We had to call his family and have some of them come out and unhook us from whatever we were hung up on and put the car back together.

When we arrived back with the rest of the family, I, breathless, reported the exciting incident to his mother and the other women in the family. They didn’t flick an eyelid.

I came to find out why. For one thing, as Bill has told me, he ‘loses interest while driving.’

But, this kind of inattention happens in all of his dealings with this world.

He asked me once, why I wouldn’t buy him a new wallet when he had repeatedly told me he would like one on his birthday or Christmas.

“Maybe, I said, “it’s because the last time you got a new wallet, you immediately washed and dried it with all your money in it, plus your driver’s license and the key to your car.

“And the time before that, you lost another wallet for 3 months and had to get new credit cards, a new driver’s license and lost a hundred dollars. And then you discovered you had been sitting on the loose wallet for the entire time in your office chair.

“And before that, when I first met you, you took me to that lovely, rich restaurant down the mountain  and the next day you discovered your wallet was missing. I was frantic and called the restaurant and kept calling and pestering them to keep looking for it, that it had to be there… and you were all nonchalant and cool and just blew it off like losing your wallet was no big deal and later that day we found it in my mother’s driveway.

“That’s why I never buy you a wallet.”

Mother knows about all this and she loves Bill anyway. One reason she loves him is because he cooks. He is a darn good cook, so we in the family excuse him for all the time he spends out of our world and somewhere in his own, because he brings back good recipes.

I’m a Lucky Girl. I have a mother who has terminal lung cancer and refuses to die or stop being her cheery self. She and the cancer have agreed to be friendly with each other.

I have an ex-boyfriend who is good company and pays me rent and I no longer have to get mad because he constantly  bangs his car into posts and trees and leaves his car windows open and let’s the rain pour in; a fellow who washes and dries his keys, his kleenex, his wallet and sometimes my clothes if I’m not careful. However, because I’m not always careful I have a few pants that no longer fit and a very expensive blouse that would now fit a small dog.

But, thank goodness, if I ever want to dress up my dog Bob, I do have that blouse.

And so, I am thankful for all my blessings. I am thankful for those both big and small, because being thankful for everything just feels better than being sour and mean minded with the vagaries in life.

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My Good Mojo Art!

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My art site is finally up. It was harder to get that site up than it was for me to paint the paintings!

I put Good Energy Mojos in all my paintings. If you would like to have good energy in your home that is sending you love and happiness all the time, you might like to take a look at my art. I also personalize each painting and put a special mojo in it  for the people who purchase them.

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