Monday, January 3, 2011

It Was Just a Phone Call . . .(09/19/2010)

Journal Entry--9/19/2010

Okay, so now I am blubbering again. I would like to call Lisa or CJ and share this with them but I don’t want to cry on the phone.

I just called John to see if he still wanted to get together and work on transferring some of these old 8mm films of my dad’s to video. Then we can isolate a specific frame and make a single still picture of whatever it is that we want. There are several I hope to do this with.  For my book.

So when I called he said he was waiting on some guy to come over (I forget the details) and then he was heading my way. So that saves me packing up the projector and film stuff and carting it over to his house in Franklin. No big deal but still nice not to have to lug the stuff around.

Then he said, "And I’m bringing New England Boiled Dinner."

WOW! I told him I had some food here we could eat (I baked some pork chops, green beans, and sliced potatoes last night and have plenty left.) But he said, "whatever you have can’t beat New England Boiled Dinner."

"Well, you’re right about that."

So he said he would be heading my way shortly and we hung up.

And that’s when I started to bawl.

Just like last night when Tom called. It was around 8:30 p.m. or so and he was driving back from Columbia and said he was just calling to check on me. He does that about once a week.

So we talked a few minutes. I mentioned that I meant to call him to let him know that I mowed the lawn this past week and the uneven ridges were mostly gone. That’s because he came by a few days before that and worked on the mower again to level out the blades so they would cut evenly.

He was glad to hear that. And then he said, "you know, it’s just amazing to me what a strong little woman you are. To think that you can ride that mower and that you LIKE to ride that mower and take care of things the way you do, that’s really something. I don’t think there’s too many women your age that would do – or want to do – something like that. I’m impressed."

"WOW!", I replied. "You just made my day. What a lovely thing to say."

His comments really took me by surprise – I usually think my kids, my sons, especially, just think I’m that Wacky Old Liberal Woman who really doesn’t understand the way the world works.

Then I said something stupid. "Who have you been talking to?"

"Nobody, I just wanted to call and see how you were doing. And tell you that."

Well, we talked a few more minutes and hung up.

And then I started crying again.

I thought about calling him back. I haven’t talked to anyone and didn’t want him thinking so.

Unless you count God. I talk to Him all the time about whatever. It’s just what I do. And sometimes I turn to Him for comfort because I feel sad about things. Things like the fact that my impression is that my sons don’t really understand me. Or if they do, they think I’m naive or silly or ignorant of how the world is, or kind of just a pain sometimes with my crazy ideas.

Like their dad, they tease me a lot. Like their dad, they seldom say things that are complimentary or express appreciation or just say, "I Love you, Mom.." If Jerry could have balanced out the sarcasm with compliments, I could have handled his sarcastic humor better.

In the case of their dad, the toll it took was severe and finally unfixable, and we parted ways. I wasn’t tough enough, I guess, to look past the sarcastic jokes and criticism to see a basically good man standing behind them. If I could have been stronger, wiser . . . if, if, if . . . who knows.

But sons are not husbands. And there is nothing, ever, that will separate me emotionally from my children. They are not their father. They are like him in some ways. Some of those ways are good, some not so good. But the bond between mother and child is stronger than between husband and wife and I thank God daily for the good men my sons have grown to be.

Like my grandmother before me, who I am so much like, I’ve picked a hard row to hoe. I chose it. Financially, it has been so difficult, for so long. And yet I am blessed to have what I have, be healthy enough to generally do what I want and need to do. Lots of times I find myself saying, "Okay, God, you and me. We can do this." And we do.

Sometimes it gets wearisome, though. Sometimes . . .

It was just a phone call . . . but it made my day.
* * * * *
A few minutes after talking with John about the dinner, he called back and said, "Let's meet at Tom's.  I have a really big pot of this stuff and they haven't cooked dinner yet so let's all go out there."

I thought this a little strange but said, "Sounds like a plan to me."   So I grabbed the puppy (Rocky) and off we went to Mt. Pleasant for what appeared to be a "spur of the moment" fun family get-together.

When I got to Tom's I came in thru the kitchen like always.  Jo (Tom's wife) was there but I didn't see Tom.  A few minutes later, in comes John with his big pot of New England Boiled Dinner.  Then Sam (Sammy Jo) and Tommy (Tom's children) came into the kitchen.  But no Tom.

After John deposited the pot on the stove and we all hugged as we usually do, Tom slowly sauntered into the kitchen.  Although it was quite warm, he had on flannel PJ bottoms, a tank top, and a fleece jacket on over the sleeveless t-shirt.  He took my hands as I started to hug him like I always do,, and held them out between us, preventing the usual hug. 

"There's something I need to tell you, Mom." 


"When I called you last night, I was at the hospital. A friend drove me there because I had a slight accident with my bike."

I had stopped breathing for a second but he was standing there, intact, talking calmly about what had happened so I got over the initial shock of what he was saying pretty quick.

He finished explaining what had happened (the Miracle I discussed in another post) which included the explanation of why John had called me back to say "let's go to Tom's."  They figured the best way for me to find out what happened would be if I could see that Tom was pretty much okay.

* * * * *
Did I mention how thoughtful and protective and good my sons are?????


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