on being a mamma’s boy …


S/O and I went to brunch in Chinatown with my mom this morning.  The sights, sounds, and smells in Chinatown always bring back great memories my grandmother.  I remember riding the bus to Chinatown with my Bobo so that she could go and buy things and she'd take me to the open market where we'd look at fish on ice and fruits and veggies of all stripe.  As we walked through Chinatown this morning, though, it occurred to me that my mom is now a lot older than my Bobo was when she took me there as a child.  I'm now forty three and my mom is eighty four …

I find that it is a struggle for me to deal with the aging of my mom.  Mom has always been the rock of our family.  When I was growing up, my dad was not exactly a great provider, in fact, my dad was always putting our family in debt and creating financial messes that my mom had to solve on her rather small salary as an occupational therapist.  Given those limitations, my mom found ways to put my siblings and I through two of the finest private schools in Hawaii (I was a financial aid kid, but both my older siblings went through at full tuitions), she kept a roof over our heads in spite of my dad's best efforts to make us homeless, and she kept us all fed.  To make a long story short, she is one of those women who just made it through life by being incredibly competent and putting her head down and working like hell.  In the last few years, it's become really clear to me, though, that my time with my mom is finite.  She's now eighty four and although she's had some serious health issues which precipitated the removal of her gall blader, spleen, pancreas, and part of her stomach, she is in amazingly good health and amazingly vibrant.  She has, however, slowed down quite a bit. She now takes daily naps which NEVER happened in her younger days and she has had increasing difficulty walking.  She still wakes up daily and goes walking at the local mall with friends, but she says that she's noticed that she just can't make herself walk as far as she used to.  All in all, I'm grateful that my mom has had a pretty wonderful retirement. 

After my dad's death she met a great man who has served as her friend and companion (on my mom's terms …) and I think that she's enjoyed all that life has had to offer.  I think that she'd say that she has had a pretty satisfying run so the sadness that I feel as I watch my mom get older is more for me, than for her.  She's shown me what it means to live a fulfilling, meaningful, and happy life, and although I think that I've learned a lot of her lessons well, I'm just not ready to let go yet.  I guess I'm destined, always, to be a mamma's boy … 


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