Saturday, October 15, 2005


I'm so excited! My mom will be visiting us this week. Today, she flies here from the Midwest. We'll go to the coast...or perhaps to the mountains.

Mom was quite anxious when she first heard that I was going to be a psychiatrist. In our family, no one really said the word "psychiatrist" out loud. In fact, it was hardly whispered. "That person is...(words mouthed slowly and deliberately) ...seeing a psychiatrist. He is...(words mouthed inaudibly, again)...mentally ill."

Later I learned that mom's aunt died in a mental hospital. Grandma always insisted that it was a mistake, and that she never belonged there. In every family photo, a ghost-like shape has been carefully cut with scissors. Aunt Catherine has been snipped out.

Mom could not understand how I could work with "the problem people." She called her brother, an OB-Gyne in California, and asked, what is my daughter doing? Why is she doing this? Don't worry, said my uncle. Psychiatrists have the best life, the best hours. They travel all over the world. She'll be fine.

And I am fine. Mom doesn't worry so much about it anymore. And we don't talk about it much.

But I'm worried about her. She's in her late seventies. When we moved, our new address confused her. Today, I see that she gave us the wrong flight number. I'll be asking little memory-testing questions while we're visiting. (What day is it I hope she's not getting a dementing illness...the kind that turns a person's mind into a real-life, empty, ghost-like shape...

Update: she's here. She's great. I love my mom!


Blogger D.P. said...

Moms are great!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Rita Schwab - MSSPNexus said...

Don't worry too much over what may lie ahead - use every moment to make wonderful memories instead.

(I didn't set out to rhyme, it just came out that way. I lost my mother unexpectedly nearly twenty years ago, and have come to appreciate that since I didn't know our time was short, I didn't spend it worrying, I just spent it enjoying being with my mom.)

Have a great visit!

7:21 AM  

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