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This month... Turning Over a New Leaf

 
I rush into the waiting room, trying to make it on time. Mom is sitting in the chair, patiently reading her romance novel with her ninety-nine cent bifocals. Calm and relaxed, in contrast to my frantic entrance as I juggle my schedule to try and make her appointment.

“You made it!,” she exclaims, genuinely happy that I am there.

 “Sure mom, you know I told you I’d be here for you.”

 Then the interrogation begins.

 “So, mom, did you bring all your pill bottles for the doctor to see?”

“Well yes, I have all the ones I have been taking.” She dives deep into her purse, plucking each one out and setting them by the magazines strewn haphazardly on the waiting room table.

A bit concerned, I probe further.

“Are you not taking all the medications your doctor prescribed you?”

“Well, I did stop the one that I think is making my hair fall out.”

“How long ago did you stop that one?"

“Oh, I think a few months ago. I just figured I’d tell her when I saw her today. Right?”

I'm beginning to wonder: Have I become the helicopter daughter who tries too hard to make the most of my mom's twenty-minute appointment? Have I become a theater director, tweaking each line of my mom's script to maximize her performance?

But I continue: “Mom, let’s look at your list of questions to ask the doctor."

“List? I don’t have a list. I just want her to sign my pharmacy rebate coupon. I certainly can remember that.”

Our conversation continues as I struggle with which role I should play: doctor, daughter, or parent.

Then we sit quietly for a few minutes before the receptionist door opens, and the nurse calls her in.

“Let’s go, Mom, I think you’re ready now.” And the performance begins.

Jo Marie Reilly
South Pasadena, California

Comments   

# Colleen Fogarty 2016-05-01 14:46
Jo Marie, From the opening moment, I am "in" this story with you. I'm imagining what you've had to juggle to make it to this visit, to be "present" with your mother, and to coach her as well as let go; always balancing and examining your role, relationships and sphere of influence!
Marvelous Story!
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# Jo Marie 2016-05-05 03:26
Glad it grabbed you Colleen. It sure is a challenge balancing mom, daughter and doctor!
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