Day 176: When a Mom Gets Sick

by ashleighpenrod

When a mom gets sick, it’s a very confusing time. Because moms don’t get sick. They’re basically superhuman. Dads don’t get sick either, for that matter.

My mom is sick. It’s not life-threatening, but it is uncomfortable. She’s in the hospital and having surgery on Tuesday, 2,000 miles away from where I live.

Discombobulated, I’ve now asked three of my relatives whether or not I should fly out there even though she told me not to. I finally stopped asking when my dad admitted that since they just moved in to their new place, I would be more stressful than helpful. (Although I do feel like I’d be an excellent drug runner… in the sense that I’m really good at picking up legal prescriptions from the pharmacy.)

When I had minor surgery a couple of years ago, my mom was my hero. She stayed with me, she propped me up on the couch and brushed my hair, she lined up a slew of trashy TV shows for me to watch (I think that’s when I got hooked on The Millionaire Matchmaker), and she made me delicious and healthy meals. If memory serves me, she also put together a really complicated table from Ikea for me. It was during the height of my drug-induced “look at all the pretty colors” phase, so I’m a little foggy on that part.

I’d like to assure my mom that her codeine hallucinations aren’t real while I put together her furniture, but instead I’m stuck here. Blogging. And it’s not that I don’t trust my family—I know my dad, grandparents, and aunts and uncles are all excellent TV show-pickers—but I’m finally old enough to recognize all the amazing care-taking my mom has done for me, and I want to pay her back.

So, mom, I’m sorry I’m not there. Don’t worry about putting anyone out or asking for too much. Tell our family what you need and they’ll get it for you. Call me when you’re bored in the hospital and I’ll tell you all about my latest OkCupid date. And Taylor and Paige and I will make you a list of good Netflix movies that don’t require constant concentration.

Also, don’t worry about all the unpacked boxes in your new home. Dad will put everything away in mysterious places and you’ll spend the next five years trying to decipher his unpacking logic. It’ll be fun.