My mother came for a visit this passed weekend for Mother’s Day. On Sunday, The Hubster made a delicious leg of lamb with home made gravy, with red cabbage and home made potato balls. My mother came from our guest bedroom all primed for dinner and said, “Mr. Kar-a-z-in, with all your brains I know you could have made us an apple pie!”
Hearing her say that was like nails on a chalkboard. Forget that it was an obnoxious thing to say after my husband worked for hours making this meal. The horror of it all is my mother is a diabetic. Her mother, my grandmother, succumbed to the disease, but not before she had to get her leg amputated.
She was recently called into the doctor’s office for a sit down because her numbers were high. She is in remission from a very hormone-resistant strain of breast cancer that she mostly likely developed because she has a TON of subcutaneous abdominal fat. Combined with her crappy diet, lack of exercise, and diabetes, she’s a walking talking pharmaceutical company’s wet dream.
A few days later I was out running errands and a call came into the car. It was Mom, demanding that I buy her a cheeseburger and fries because she was “sick of eating healthy home made food you have to cook!” I told her no, and she pulled the, “I’m your mother!” card, so I hung up. Didn’t buy the drive-thru garbage either. But when I came home, she was in the kitchen with Clo Clo making a batch of sugary and flour-y tea cakes.
Nothing, I mean, NOTHING I say has any impact on her behavior. The Hubster tells me that I should just leave it alone, that it’s her life. But it really isn’t. Because I am the only child that resides in the same state and live relatively close, if something terrible happens and she’s not able to take care of herself, I, as her daughter, will be expected to step in. She’ll expect me to feel sorry for her and take pity. She’ll make me feel guilty. But how much pity should my mother get when she KNOWINGLY AND DELIBERATELY didn’t take care of herself? And instead of four kids, I will have five.
Worse, she lies when I ask her if she’s exercising or if she visits the local farmers market to get fresher and healthier produce. She’s got one right in town, five minutes away, and never goes. She can’t be on a treadmill going 2.0 for more than five minutes. She thinks sweating is unladylike. And her eating…starting at 10AM with her breakfast (she sleeps late) up until after midnight she’s foraging in the cabinets (where the processed food is more likely to be) and eating. But here’s the thing–she’s sedentary. She doesn’t do nearly enough to earn the right to eat that much food.
And so I exercise six days a week. And I go to the farmer’s market every Saturday and grow my own vegetables. I’ve given up sugar, bread and rice. Know why? Because NO WAY do I want my kids to worry ceaselessly about how my poor health and poor choices might effect their lives. I never want to be like my mother, who KNOWS BETTER but refuses to DO BETTER.
It’s so hard to talk about this, no doubt that somebody with say or think, “How dare you talk about your mother this way??” But let’s turn around the question: “How dare my mother deliberately not take care of herself knowing she’ll eventually be a burden and stress on her children sooner than later because of her inability to control what goes in her mouth?”