The other day my Dad was driving me to one of my IV infusion treatments when he decided to turn on the radio. “OH MY GOSH! I yelled out of absolute horror as the awful sound came out of the car speakers. “WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE YOU ARE LISTENING TO?! Is this AM Radio?! Is this TALK RADIO?!” “Yes it is!” He said back defensively. “Ahhh! My ears! My ears are BLEEDING it’s so boring!!!” I said dramatically as I covered my ears. “Well maybe if YOU listened to talk radio every once in a while instead of the ‘blee blah foo fah’ radio stations you listen to you might learn something, you Know-Nothing Millennial!” He responded back. “Wow,” I said laughing. “How dare you say that about me… I do NOT listen to ‘blee blah foo fah’ radio stations! I listen to Spotify! I can’t believe you though I listen to the radio. I have no time for commercials. Plus I had no idea AM radio even existed anymore!” After that he proceeded to rant and call me a Millennial Snowflake as I sat back laughing. It was a great ride
Over the past few months, I have spent a lot of time with Mike Sr and Mo Money as I continue to recover from the complications of the blood clot and severe virus I had in December and January. While it’s been a few months, Mike and Mo have continued to be great about helping me out-taking me to appointments, feeding me, letting me stay at their house, and just overall helping me get back to a healthy state. Although I did have to ban Mo from making me any soup or hot food because she heats it to SCALDING level. I’m not sure if my mom was born with wax in her mouth and she can’t feel the temperature of hot liquids, but she likes to eat soup and drink her coffee at a BOILING TEMPERATURE. She always so kindly offers to make me some soup (by “make” I mean crack open a can of Campell’s and heat it on the stove. We don’t make soup in our family) which I have to respectfully decline, “No thanks, Mom. I’m still trying to re-grow the taste buds I burned off my tongue the last time you made me soup so I think I’ll take a pass.”
To be honest I can’t believe she hasn’t tried serving scalding soup to the squirrels she hates so much. Our conversations continue to center around the squirrels and my Mom’s bird feeder.
Dad: Mo, I’m beginning to think that new bird seed I got for your bird feeder is bad. None of the birds are eating any of it.
Mom: Yes, I thought the same thing. Not even the squirrels will eat it! And they’re like rats, they will eat ANYTHING! They won’t touch this stuff but the good bird seed we got they were just GORGING on the other day! Those greedy little rats.
Me: Mom, first you were just fat shaming the squirrels, now you’re comparing them to rats? Your hatred for them is going too far.
Dad: Well this is just great! (Said sarcastically). I just bought a big bag of the stuff now how are we supposed to get rid of it if neither the birds or the squirrels will eat it?! It will take up too much room in the garage!! (Said 100% serious)
Me: Just a suggestion but maybe stop buying bird seed all together, I feel like bird seed just upsets you both. Mom hates when the squirrels eat it and Dad you hate when it’s left in the garage.
Many times I felt like Mother Earth trying to protect and defend the squirrels as my mom continued to call them names and throw rocks “near” them to “scare them away” from her bird feeder. Although I must say, some of those rocks got pretty close.
Many time when the three of us are together, once we’re done talking about the squirrels, we move on to discussing a juicy Dateline my Mom had watched. One night after my Mom finished giving us the summary of an episode she had watched she said, “Don’t worry, I saved the recording if either of you want to watch it, I’d even watch it again with you-Although Kathleen, with the night terrors you’ve been having with the medications they have you on, I don’t think you should.” Wow, classic Mom making me sound like a wuss in front of my Dad.
[To provide background, the blood clot, virus and various medications I was put on to treat them caused me to have weird death dreams and other unwanted side affects at night that have caused me to be unable to sleep. The death dreams can get pretty creepy. One night in January, I woke up from one and felt like Haley Joel Osment in the Six Sense, clutching my blankets and seeing my breath in my chilly bedroom air-I thought I was being haunted by dead people, but then I realized I was just staying at my parents and my Dad always keeps the thermostat that low during the winter to save money on heating. What a relief. My Mom liked to act like watching ONE murder show would have ANY affect on these dreams-As if me and my siblings didn’t grow up watching Datelines and murder shows with her from a young age. When we were little, if we owed my parents money for anything we could “pay it off” by ‘playing with’ or braiding my mom’s hair while she watched one of her many real life murder shows after dinner-Dateline, 20/20, Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, you name it. It was her idea of relaxing while trying to ensure that her children forever live in fear of being murdered. Because nothing lulls you to sleep as an 8 year old better than watching police find human remains in some woods while sitting on the couch braiding your mom’s hair. With five kids Mo had no time to read bedtime stories. Plus we all learned how to braid so it was a win-win.]
“Mom! I’m fine to watch murder shows it will have no affect on me!” I said like an embarrassed child. “Plus I am NOT sitting through another one of your boring Mysteries at the Museum shows! And you get too loud during Wheel of Fortune so that’s off the table!” Watching Wheel of Fortune with my Mom is like watching a football game with a die-hard fan. She yells at the TV a lot and makes lots of commentary:
(Player spins the wheel) Mom: “Oooh! Oooh! Ahh! Ahhh! They were SOOOOOOO close but they landed on Bankruptcy!” Or she’ll say things like, “I tell ya, that Vanna, she’s got a pretty good gig!” or “Did you know Pat Sajak is OVER 70?? He looks pretty good for over 70.”
“Ahh,” My Dad said. “Was that you I heard screaming in the middle of the night like a little baby?!” “First off, yes” I responded defensively. “Second, you mean to tell me you heard me in the middle of the night screaming and didn’t check to make sure I was ok? What if I was actually being kidnapped?!” “Well, I sure would feel bad for the guy who took you having to listen to all you snippy comments all the time.” “Kathleen Honey, maybe you should sleep with me when Dad is out of town,” My Mom said sweetly. “Do you think that would help you sleep better?” “That’s a nice offer Mom,” I said “But I’m better off sleeping on a concrete slab than that old mattress you and Dad have. I went to sit on it the other day and practically severed my spine the thing is so hard as a rock.” Then, as always, my Dad went on to defend the mattress and say that it’s a perfectly good mattress and rant about how they don’t make mattresses like they used to. I almost fell asleep listening to him.
I keep telling my parents I need a “therapy dog” to aid in my sleep and recovery, but so far they aren’t taking the bait. As the “manager” of my Mom’s Instagram account, I even took her phone and followed a bunch of dog accounts so that puppies would constantly be coming up on her news feed and I text my Dad dog updates but I still have yet to be given a puppy. Clearly they don’t love me.
While my parents have yet to buy me a puppy, I am very grateful for all they’ve done to help in my recovery. We have a lot of laughs when we are together and sometimes that’s the best medicine. So thanks, Mom and Dad for the TLC, the rides, the food and the fun.