It occurred to me that I zoomed off to Chicago and left everyone hanging. Mother came through her procedure quite well and is on cloud nine. She called several days later wondering when the euphoria was going to wear off and is thrilled with her new physique. My gut reaction was to say “hey,you’ve been wanting to do this for 40 years. Enjoy it every minute of it!”
Mom stayed with a gentleman friend who was kind enough to host her and fund the festivities. And me, when I showed up on his doorstep with my hair standing on end. She was home from the hospital and doing fine by the time I got there, so it was time to celebrate. (my timing was impeccable) We celebrated for 4 days. The result was that I found out I like port wine and fine sipping whiskey. What an education.
The relationship between my mom and her friend is complicated. They dated 40 some years ago and he re-found her about 7 years ago. So what’s going on now? Oh my, 40 years of catching up and rehashing old squabbles, establishing boundaries and so on. They are most definitely not on the same page at the moment. He knew me when I was only 10 years old so I actually got to use the phrase “please don’t argue in front of the children!” Me being the child, of course. That so was soooo much fun. I’ve always wanted to say that. But sometimes I’m a patient woman. Most don’t believe it, but it’s true. I swear!
But I veered off track. Gent-friend was a gracious host and loves Chicago and told us all about it. We went for a drive to the neighborhood we lived in for a while 47 years ago. It’s in a section called Old Town and is now a ritzy upscale neighborhood . I picked out the apartment we lived in and remembered days in the school yard across the street. What a blast from the past. I’m old enough to drink now so we visited a pub there called…I forgot the name dammit! But I’ve included a few pictures. It’s a Chicago Institution as far as bars go.
Mom left on the train Sunday night. My plane was Monday evening so Gent-friend and I had some time to catch up and get to know each other a little better. We talked about Mom a lot and what has gone on the past decades from my point of view. The gist of the conversation was, it is what is, accept or move on. You can’t change her, and she can’t change you. It felt sort of odd saying that to 2 people in 1 week-end, 1 a parent and the other one old enough to be one. But it doesn’t make it any less true.