Friday, February 20, 2009

Stressing your mom out

A friend and I were discussing our patterns for dealing with stress on Twitter (hehe - 140 characters ... heckuva discussion! Demands precision dialog). She ended it by saying that she inevitably called her mom.

My first thought was, "I'm so glad you do that. I wish I still could." Because you see, I want to tell every young woman out there to treasure the moments you have with your mom because all of a sudden, some day she'll be gone. And there won't be any new moments ... only memories.

But, that was quickly replaced by a memory (see, I told you!)

I was 22 years old, living 6 1/2 hours away from home in Spencer, IA working at my first, real job - Christian Ed and Music Director at a Methodist church. Mom and I were really close friends and our phone bills were fairly unhealthy. One night I was out of control stressed. I remember that I was having trouble getting my apartment warm enough in the middle of a northwestern Iowa winter, I had dealt with something 'unfun' at an education meeting at church and my senior pastor was pushing me to do some things I was completely uncomfortable with.

I called mom up and totally unloaded all of my fears and frustrations on her. We talked for a few minutes and then, I had to go to another meeting. I left, did the meeting, came home and went to bed. You see, after I unloaded it all on her, I was fine! I just needed someone to talk to.

Before dawn the next morning, my phone was ringing. Now, this was in the day and age of phones being attached to a wall (1983) and the only phone in the apartment was in the kitchen. It had a 20 foot cord on it, but I did have to get out of bed to answer it. I was just sure something terrible had happened. Oh yah ... it had. Mom was completely freaked out and worrying about me. I don't know what she thought I was going to do, but she hadn't slept all night. By 6 am, she was a wreck.

Of course, I had slept soundly and had completely forgotten the conversation. As I listened to her yell at me, I just giggled. This is what love is all about! She finally calmed down enough to listen to me and I explained that I was all better after talking to her. I think she told me I could never do that to her again.

The next thing I did to her? A tornado ripped through Spencer one night. I sat in my bathtub and called her. When I told her that I wanted someone to know if I died, she wasn't terribly impressed. But, she stayed on the phone with me until the storm passed. It ripped homes apart 1/2 block away from my apartment. I waited awhile to tell her that part of the story.


Tena said...

I feel guilty about this now, but I still miss it. If I was really upset on the phone... enough to cry, my mom would sometimes cry too. It's weird (and kind of mean, in a way), but that always made me feel better. I miss having someone to cry with me! But you're right... we have memories. They keep me going.

Diane Muir said...

I always figured that's what mom's job was! I end up doing this for my sister now. She calls me up all stressed out and by the time we're done with the conversation, she's all better and I'm stressed. Your turn will come! And then, no more guilt (hehe)

tlksimpson said...

Hmmmm....I think I do this to Tena sometimes!! hehehe Thank you both for the reminder to always treaure my mom. We are all three blessed to have the BEST mom's we could ever have dreamed up. My mom's biggest "job" with me is to keep me in perspective!