My mom was “very” concerned about my medical health. I saw quite a few doctors about perceived issues with my weight and health, lived a daily regimen of horse pills, teas, exercises, tests. To this day, I still passively interpret the color and clarity of my pee, the alkalinity of my sweat and blood, taking mental notes, just in case. Ask Jazmen and TyLinne how quick I am with diagnostic questions the moment they think they might be feeling under the weather. I was programmed by the best.
I gotta take a moment, for those that grew up with me, to say that all those stories of me in the emergency room were not related to my mother’s over-protectiveness. Against her wishes (and any sane parent), I broke a few bones jumping off rooftops, ramps and trees, on a regular basis. My best friend was Brian “Kirbdog” Kirby, so bruises and stitches kinda came with the territory. I’ve been swarmed by army ants and bitten multiple times by black widows. My mother wasn’t a negligent parent by any stretch. I was just a lot to try to keep up with. Any other parent would have either gone mad or lost a child at some point. At the very least, my sense of adventure and wonder didn’t help her concerns about my health and mortality.
My mother had her own unexpected health issues to wrestle with, and she was concerned that the same thing could happen to me. Some of it did. But I wasn’t sick. I was a nerdy kid with wierd medical allergies that weren’t imagined. Even now, I am still allergic to pain killers, as my forgetful friends have unwittingly witnessed the symptoms over the years. Hay fever hits me like the flu, leaving me short of breath and crying in pain almost every season. I have to eat real food or I turn into an irritated violent asshole. My mom knew that very early on, I wasn’t having “normal” medical issues, and it was very frustrating for her to not be able to find a cure for a lot of what I was going through. Like any mother, she was genuinely worried about me, especially in the world I was going to have to grow up in without her. Had my dad lived longer, he would’ve provided a paternal balance, as he did during my earliest years. They both were preparing me for a life without them, it just happened a lot sooner than they hoped.
The headlines are making a big deal about Munchausen’s lately, esp in regards to the mother who was arrested for what she put her son through. My mother was nothing like that. She prayed for the day that doctors’ visits andhorse pillss would become a thing of the past. She was not an attention-seeker at all. If anything, having a sick child that couldn’t be cured with home remedies was embarrassing and humbling for her Eastern sensibilities. If there was any sense of clinginess, it was because she knew her time was limited in this world, and she wanted to prepare me for the time after, while cherishing as much of it as possible before it was over. She took a lot of pictures. That’s where I get it from.
Make memories while you can. Thanks, Mom!