Dear Mum, who is 86 years old, still living on her own, slowly climbing in to her 2005 Buick nearly everyday to visit her husband who is 89 years, living in a skilled nursing facility, suffering from Parkinson’s and Lewy Body dementia, told me on the phone that she is, of late, talking to a statue of Jesus she has in her home, out loud, several times during the day.
Mum is a devout Catholic, and always has been. I’ve always maintained she missed her calling, and should have been a nun, but then, if she had taken on the habit, I wouldn’t be here writing this, which is a somewhat entertaining thought when I read a headline, catch a soundbite of news, and even more of an entertaining thought when I read, study and research the insanity here in the West. I probably shouldn’t be here, I conclude.
There were thin, red lines on her forefingers on both hands, she told me. It was sore to the touch and was making everyday things like writing, holding a spoon or picking up a piece of paper excruciatingly painful. Mum likes to exaggerate a bit and always has.
This night on the phone, she was convinced that she was coming down with flesh eating disease.
And Jesus wept!
According to her, flesh eating disease is rampant. Not sure what radio or television “programming” segment she might have caught a recent whiff of, but one never doubts the “gospel according to Mum”.
We visited a bit further. If one changes the subject with dear old Mum, you can get her to crack on about any number of subjects of which she really knows nothing about. It provides her an opportunity to feel good about herself, along with the opportunity for me, the listener, to score points in the area of patience. A win-win!
But no matter that Mum really knows nothing about the subject at hand, whatever she pontificates, still, is the gospel according to Mum, and never to be doubted – lest she stop including you in any number of the novena’s she’s praying for YOU – hoping you will abandon whatever heathen ways you’re practicing and come back to the faith…or short of that, be cast into Purgatory, allowed to sweat off your sins – thankful that Gehenna wasn’t your ultimate destination once you’ve been kicked off this circus of insanity.
And so, as I was participating in the daily phone fireside chat with dear Mum, she told me that she talks to the Jesus statue, regularly, throughout the day. She giggled about it when relating the conversations she’s had of late.
And when I suggested that the red streaks on her fingers, along with the soreness and tenderness, that maybe it is a bit of shingles, which dear Mum has had throughout her praying life, the heavens parted and music blared forth.
“That’s it, exactly,” she excitedly proclaimed. “My guardian angel told you to call me tonight, so that I might be able to sleep, no longer concerned that I had the flesh eating disease.”
And there it was…the gospel according to Mum.
And if I, her oldest son of 64 years, can give Mum a good night’s rest from a simple change of subject, no longer consumed that just maybe, she doesn’t have flesh eating disease – then just maybe indeed, I was under the spell from the angels, giving a bit of the respite to dear ole Mum, from the insanity of the times we all need.
Tonight’s musical offering:
“Mama Tried” – Grateful Dead
(headphones on, and volume up, for the exceptionally pounding, yet pleasurable bass line from this gem)