"Theology Askew?" Column
TELLUS MATER, FOR LISTENING IS FOREIGN
Margaret, my mother, may have passed on in 1994 from consequences of the cruel carcinoid, but she will always be my mother, both in memory and in continuing spirit.
She also passed on her hunger for knowledge to her two kids, as Jean and I abet our myopia and eyeball fatigue with time spent reading reference material and poring over Web pages.
Devotion: The Sacrifice Worth Making. I recall during one of my two tonsillectomies (no, I wasn't born with two tonsils, the first just grew back), my Mom sitting at my bedside well into the night, resting her head at my side. She was perfectly willing to remain there all night, if need be, to ensure my sense of rest and security.
Later, as adolescence overtook me, she would hurt to see me walking a block ahead of her when we would go downtown or visit shopping malls. She knew my symbolic distance of "independence" was probably typical teen-age behavior, but it still hurt her. I had been, after all, a "Momma's Boy."
Then, when in college I met my first serious girlfriend, I increasingly abandoned both other friends and my family, in pursuit of the new feelings and this all-too-new relationship. That new, yet painful, relationship ended just as a new journey for the family would begin.
A First Taste of Suffering Through Rarity. One morning in November 1974, my sister awoke to prepare for school, only to pass out due to a pulse of 210bpm. Local physicians and "specialists" either were baffled, or thought it was "all in her head." Mom sought out all and any source of medical help for her only daughter who, ultimately, would lay bed-ridden for years until the mysterious viral and bacterial presences burned their way through and out of her body.
Once my sister was well enough to venture back into the world somewhat, the tables turned and she became the care-giver. First, in 1989, my dad would have the first, and most visible, of his many strokes. Three years later, my Mom would need and receive my sister's care and devotion. (By that time, I was both married and raising my own family.)
On the May day in 1992 when I was looking forward to watching Johnny Carson's farewell "Tonight Show," I was awakened at 6 a.m. by a call from my Dad.
"Your mother is in the hospital," he said, "She is in extreme pain. Something may have burst in her abdomen."
SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH,
THE MEMORY AND TRIBUTE CONTINUES
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