Call My Mother . . .

My two favorite women in the whole, wide world.
My brothers and I got a somewhat alarming e-mail from our mother on Friday afternoon. That we got a somewhat alarming e-mail is not that odd. That it came during normal waking hours is what made it odd (for clarification my mother's LAST somewhat alarming e-mail came at about 2:45 AM CT (3:45 AM her time) on a Tuesday . . . yes, my mother is frequently still on her way to bed at 4 AM - no, she does not go clubbin' anymore (or ever)).

Now I know what you thinking/asking aloud "What makes an e-mail from your mother somewhat alarming, Sean?" Well. I'll tell you the key points . . .

1) My uncle has a gaping wound in his foot that started out as a small cut but grew because he has no feeling in his foot and apparently stopped checking the soles of his feet for cuts years ago (her wording, not mine).
2) There is likely GAN-F*CKING-GRENE in said wound.
3) Don't worry, they are going to treat it . . . likely with a hyperbolic chamber. If it doesn't work? They'll amputate.
4) Apparently this news has my father (it is my father's brother we discuss here) a wee upset and bummed out - what with two of his four siblings being dead and all.
5) On that note apparently my father is not doing well with depression, in general, following the death of his brother on Halloween night. No. She didn't need to clarify that he's hurting over that - but she did.
6) No, no. We're not done yet. Apparently my mother's digestive system is all sorts of jacked up. She's having probes and exploratory surgeries done (many in the past tense - but this is the first we have heard, as her children).
7) The final part . . . "Otherwise all is well here at home. The girls should get their St. Patrick's Day boxes on Tuesday or Wednesday. We love you."


Now this is my fault - truly. I don't do a good job of calling home (or to my brothers). When I do call the family we seem to spend more time and energy on me than any one else (this is totally normal in any relationship I'm in, sadly) and my family is made of people who don't typically like to complain (to anyone but our shrinks and blog readers). But - STILL - how do I get this far out of the loop on the lunacy that is my parents?

I am making a vow to my daughter right here and now . . . no matter how technology-driven communications will be by 30 years from now she will learn of NO medical crises in our family (nuclear or extended) through digital communication NOR will she ever have all this news just unceremoniously dumped on her with the exciting news of holiday packages as a sign off.

I love my parents. I want them to be around forever. For. Ever. But no person has ever lived beyond 68 in my father's family (he'll be 67 in June) and my mother is not exactly the healthiest of those in her family. We try to encourage them. We try to help them (there is a hilarious and heartbreaking story I could tell about the first time my parents came to visit us here in Kansas and my then-wife bought hundreds of dollars of healthy groceries and lower-fat, lower-sugar, lower-sodium versions of favorites only to come home the next day to "better" groceries also in the fridge). We try to encourage them to keep us posted on the happenings in their lives. We try to keep them from sugar coating the stuff we have to hear.

New rule . . . I am going to start calling my mother way, way more often.