Monday, April 8, 2024

Get out of here

 There are phrases I don't use but I love them. I love it when someone says, "Get out of here." when they hear something surprising. 

I am not a cool person. I've never been cool. I am so nerdy that I have been asked if I was high in college when I wasn't.. 

It was more nerves. I constantly used to fidget when talking to people I was so uncomfortable. I remember being nervous about my neck twitching in that I felt I could not move my head from nervousness. 

There where several sources where my incredibly shyness was rooted. One was from teasing when I was kid in school. When the Colombine shooting happened, my evening students said they were made fun of. I told my students, that was not why. We all get made fun of. They all had that knowing look and shook their heads in that they agreed with my statement. The only thing surprising was I thought that many of my students were the ones who dished it out.

The biggest contributor was probably my parents. I had wonderful parents who were both incredibly shy people. What a family tradition. They say you get your culture from your mother.

My mother had two incredibly social siblings. The other two siblings were like her in that they were quiet people. One of the social siblings died of probably an aortic aneurism. His heart supposedly burst. In retrospect, this uncle had a drinking problem.. He had a weak heart and had had polio as a child. He died quite young in that he just shy of his 44th birthday in 1983.

The other sibling that was outgoing developed a hesitance to go out to eat in public places in her seventies. She passed at 80 and it was almost like she decided to die. The day before, my cousin said people were lined up outside her tiny apartment. She had something to give to each person and told them all goodbye. That night she went into a coma and by daybreak she was gone. 

Long story short, living with my mother, I understood so much about myself. You learn so much at your mother's knee.  I will climb a tree to avoid an argument which was so true for my mother. I will sometimes just pay for something that I am disatisfied with just to get it behind me. The first time I did it in front of my mom, I was expecting her to tell me to speak up and complain. She was so relieved I did it. Peace is a wonderful thing. 

I'm not milquetoast though. I just pick my battles. 

One time I shared with my mom that I always have felt on the outside looking in. Mom felt bad. She thought I had got those feelings from her. No matter how old you get, mom is ready to take your burdens. 

There is a special closoeness you get with an elderly parent. I had the chance to meet with a friend before her mother passed. She was frazzled with frustration. From experience, I knew her mother was leaving this world. But when it is happening to your mother and you, you are so in the moment. You are blind. 

I ordered an incredibly expensive mattress to prevent bedsores the month my mother passed.. A mattress that Amazon took back. I ordered the mattress before I brought mom home from the hospital at the end of November. I crunched numbers and was gearing up mentally to run a top notch nursing home room in my home. I figured mom wanted to be in her home. Nursing homes cost about $9000 a month. My friend Ron's mom lasted five years with severe dementia. 

 I never took it out of the box. There was some sort of fluke where I could not cancel the order and I had to wait about 5 weeks before it was delivered. I called Amazon in the middle of the night about the second week of December disturbed I could not cancel the order. The young woman on the other end was a saint. I was mourning the realization that my mom was leaving this world. Whether I was able to return the mattress was not the real issue. 

The mattress made it to my house about a week after my mom passed on December 22. In 25 days, I went from promising mom that she would not have to go back to the hospital to hospice to hectic days and it was over. 

My friend had taken her mom to a doctor about getting a hip replacement about two weeks before she passed.

One of the funnier things that happened during one of my mother's hospital stays during November. She had a bruise on her leg. I asked her about the bruise. My mom looks at me serious and says, "You got to fight these people in here." If you knew what a lady my mom was to become a slugger at 92. 

Get out of here indeed. 


  1. This is such a personal and moving post. Thank you.

  2. I empathize with so much of your post about growing up shy. Then you slapped me with the mattress story. I watched my vital husband change into a shell of a man in less than a month at the end of his fight with cancer. It's hard...

  3. I like the phrase 'get out of here' and use it often. I'm not sure that qualifies me as a cool though. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm mainly commenting to thank you for introducing me to the word 'milquetoast'. I had to look it up. What a unusual word!


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