Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Doug and our mom

Doug called me Monday afternoon, approximately our 5th conversation that day, plus a couple on Sunday, all of those primarily about my father and all the stuff going on with Dad those couple days.  Not this call, though. 

"Did you tell Mom about my latest, ah, medical incident?"

"You mean, your heart attack?  No."  Yeah, Doug had a heart attack not last Saturday, but the Saturday previous.  Nicely, rest and aspirin deemed him "okay," and he still went to physical therapy last week (and yesterday) just didn't do all the workouts.  He didn't really want word out about it.

"Okay, good.  Well, then, why is Mom asking me to lunch tomorrow?"

"I don't know.  I know she's pissed at me."  Pause.  "Wait, not saying she's asking you to lunch tomorrow because she's ticked at me, just saying that she is ticked at me."  Mom had e-mailed me last week, suggesting ideas for M (and I) with Mom for last weekend, and that she had an appointment in the town south of me yesterday so could we take care of an errand before or after.  I was a bit thrown, as M and I were actually, finally after 2 years of telling M we'd go to this almost-midwest town, going to go there for a 2.5 day weekend, our only summer vacation.  I was also SWAMPED, not a moment break from my alarm going off until my head hit the pillow at night, though I did send Mom our itinerary Thursday late, with a note that I think she'd forgotten that we were going there.  Mom DID call M twice over the weekend, asking about the feis and all, so that's good; she did NOT contact me.

Doug and I talked a few minutes longer.  I told Doug that Dad seemed to know (about Doug's heart attack) when I was by earlier that day.  "Oh, I told him."  Good, as I had assumed that'd be alright, and with Doug was my "fill-in" with Dad this past weekend, I'd told Dad this info.

I went in with Boss, and had a voicemail from Doug when I returned to my desk.  Hmmm, okay.  Apparently while on the phone with Doug with him telling me about his invitation to lunch with Mom, Mom had called him back to tell him not to let me know that she'd asked him to meet up with her.  Doug and I talk a couple times more that night, both cracking up at this, and me promising not to respond to Mom about Tuesday for at least another hour, even if I'd forgotten all about it until Doug called the first time.

Later, I e-mailed Mom that I'd been swamped, and that the errand would be too much on Tuesday for me, suggested another date for that, but I could likely still meet up.  Tuesday a.m., while M and I go one last time through her packing list for a fantastic school trip she was leaving on, Mom writes back, "Let's do it another time."  Phew.  "Sounds like a plan." 

Doug calls me Tuesday a.m., possibly nervous, "I just want to know what you told Mom about Dad.  I don't want to say something I shouldn't."  Gosh, I don't even know, I don't lie, but most things I don't go into much depth with Mom about.  Doug and I talked about some basics, though.  I think he was nervous.  "I figure if Mom asks me to lunch after 10 years, I may as well go."  I hadn't realized it's been quite that long, quick math, gosh, yes.  "I think you can give our mother 2 hours every 10 years."  He laughed, "Yeah, that's about what I figured.  Don't worry, I won't take over as Mom's companion."  "I am NOT Mom's Companion."  Growing up, Doug had been Mom's favorite, hands-down, I've heard her say it, seen her show it often, my relatives on both Mom's and Dad's side told me, as an adult, that they saw it.  Nicely I figured it out early enough that it was not Doug's doing, and he and I are and were fine.  They had a blow out when M was around 2 years old that isn't my story to tell.  Hmm, maybe it's been 11 years for Mom and Doug, then, not 10.  He had not seen her hair all white before.

I called him after.  "It was fine.  She just had this box of stuff of mine."  "Oh, right, I forgot.  With your birth certificate."  "My birth certificate, and [various items from childhood she'd saved for him]."  "Mom gave me mine probably 3 years ago."  We talked of the items, photos of him with our great grandmother, report cards, etc.  "She is just upset with you as she didn't remember you telling her you were going to [almost midwest town]."    "So she IS ticked at me."  "Yeah, you know Mom.  Hey, I'm not getting in the middle of a fight between you and Mom; I have enough issues going on."  I laugh.  "I'm not fighting.  She'd have to let me know she's upset first."  "She'll get over it in a couple weeks, or when she sees M again."  Mom being mad in the first place makes no sense to me, even with knowing that she was eager to see M, and M with C this weekend AND next as we switched in there, so I suppose it's dinner at Mom's one night next week (I'll suggest it).

Doug told me a couple times how many photos of M that Mom had, and how proud mom is of M, "She's her grandchild, and her only one."   I am happy for that.  I re-explained to Doug that that's really why I spend time with Mom, and ignore most of the little snipes and hurtful comments she possibly doesn't even realize she's doing some of the time.  It's not the laptop she bought M or other help, I don't and won't feel beholden for those things even if they are nice and helpful.  "I was really close to Grandma."  "Yeah, I know, and I wasn't.  I'm not close to anyone."  Hmmm.  I ponder this.  I was Grandma's favorite granddaughter (my disabled cousin one of her two favorite grandsons), and I so needed that, but how DID Doug feel?  Also, guess that NotWife really is no longer close with him.  "I want the same for M.  And they were the ones to help me raise her before C got very involved."  And, they are still there for M and involved.  And, Mom and (stepfather) Bob "need" M, too.  Like I try to have M visit with Dad now that things are better, tho she's always been close with Mom and Bob.

Mom and Doug did talk about Dad some.  In regards to how Dad is getting the money to pay for the repairs, Doug just told her that he wasn't going to discuss it (it IS Dad's business, not Mom's, who respected what Doug said), but it was Dad's money.  How much I help out Dad, yet how Doug was the one who lived there with Dad when I left at about age 12 (to live with our mother), Doug getting the brunt of it / things (he 3.5 years younger than me, not wanting to move away from his friends).  His progression of thoughts and actions re: Dad these past 3-5 years.  He did tell Mom those things. Etc.

Doug calls me back later.  "Robin, don't tell Dad I had lunch with Mom."  Oy.  I don't really get why, but whatever!  I'm glad that they did.

Doug and I both know that Beth is great to talk with, and keep secrets (even if she agrees with me that this not telling stuff like lunch dates is weird).  Who asked me not to relay about a medical issue with her husband, Len lately.  (He is improving, so yeah.)

And Mom and I have e-mailed a few brief times on other topics.  Thinking of M this past weekend and on her class trip right now which should be glorious and educational, spending time with and for Dad, getting cuddles from (cat) Billy and kisses from (dog) Daisy girl, supposedly doing laundry (Dads latest still sits in my vehicle), and getting e-mails from C who is "not very pleased" that M didn't call him Monday night.  (Like he can't be the adult and call HER, who I think didn't even remember, being busy unpacking and packing and homework somehow assigned Monday night with a Tuesday class trip planned, and a fit it in riding lesson as she'll miss her regular one for the class trip, and a special Oireachtas figures rehearsal with "chosen or cut" time.  Heck, I even asked her if she wanted to call C, not knowing he had told her to.)

See why I aim for some sense of normality for M?  lol  I am glad that Doug and Mom met up.  And, nothing I can or could have done for Doug in regards to his heart attack, but wish he and Mom hadn't both had those (it's my Dad and Doug who have both had a few mini-strokes).   Yeah, Doug and I discussed character traits and genetics we've inherited sometimes, too, lately.  Good and not so good.  Interesting to me is that Doug said a good thing from Dad was that Dad was always creative with Christmas gifts (including finding the right one for the person).

I do feel for Doug sometimes.  He wouldn't want me to fuss, though, just listen occasionally.

Tomorrow, Doug's rescuing two kittens currently living under a building on his work site, in part as his partner hates cats.  That's okay.  Doug's beloved dog has been gone several month now.  Doug is able to walk again but not to the extent that owning a dog would require.  Maybe two kittens are a good thing (at least I think so).

Mom's sister, Vesta (yes, I truly have an aunt Vesta), IM's me.  "Your mother says that M did great at her competition last weekend."  I smile and respond, and ask about my goddaughter, LOL (her granddaughter).



  1. Wow that's a LOT of calls for him.  ~ Mike

  2. I think two kittens would be wonderful for him, but you know me and felines.  LOL.
    My gosh, I'm sorry to hear he had a heart attack.  Family dynamics are something else, aren't they?