I've been recording conversations with my mom for a couple of years. A spot lights up in my heart when we talk, and I know I need to record. I'm creating an audio collage — bits and pieces that express her human beauty. We talk a lot about when she was young — in the time before me.
On Friday afternoon, she remembered a period when she lived in Ireland in County Donegal near Letterkenny. (When I was well and alive in 1985.) She met a man who taught her rebounding has consequences. The lonely person's seduction — someone telling you you're wonderful when you know you're complete shiite. Now we laugh about it. Then it was painful. It took her on an international adventure.
She worked in the hospital in Letterkenny and lived about a 3-mile walk in the country. It rained almost every day of the nine months she was there. She had this to say about the weather on those walks,
"It's a nice soft rain, and it feels so wonderful on your skin. It never felt like a soaking rain. I couldn't get over the different greens in the countryside. And their fields are separated by rock walls."
At 82, my mom channels gratitude. There's so much more. Listening to her talk about drying clothes in front of a peat-burning stove melts my heart. Writing has made me ask better questions.
I can close my eyes and see my mom on the shoulder of a narrow country road. Walking parallel to a mossy rock wall. Green fields dotted with sheep. Under a felt grey sky.
Probably walking in high heels.
I wish I had a recording of Chuck. The two of us laughing so hard we're crying. The Reids can cut it up.
Working in kitchens has been hard on my knees. I did not give it much thought as a young cook. Rushing around all day long in wooden clogs through the 90s. The only sitting I did was on a milk crate in an alley while inhaling a cigarette or a post-service beer.
I'm living with what are likely mechanical issues from an aging knee replacement. And operating in a healthcare system squeezed by rich white men wearing suits bought at Tom's Place. Wonder what deal they get.
Are any of your friends going to private clinics? Some of mine have. I'm jealous.
Wear the best work shoes you can afford. You'll be glad you did at 60. If you're ever thinking of a knee replacement, pick your surgeon and hospital carefully. Don't just ask your GP for a recommendation. I could talk your feckin' ear off.
Just so you know, my mom hit a home run third time around.
A happy coincidence — the song was released the year she was in Ireland. I hope it makes you want to dance with someone you love. Even on hurtin' knees.
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