Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

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Humbled again. Every now and then, a light bulb goes off ... what’s the saying? Even a blind dog gets a bone once in a while? I got my bone yesterday. One of those painful parent/child moments where my 91 year old mother was “right” and I was “wrong.” Black and white. I lost and she won.

In my family, it was a sign of weakness to admit defeat. On anything. Ever... The six of us were in perpetual competition to see who could be the most right – most of the time. The topic didn’t matter. Sometimes it would get heated, but mostly, we would go to our corners -  not to lick our wounds because we were wrong, but rather, to sit in our smirkiness, relishing our self-perceived victory of being soooo right. In a competition with no losers, there’s no reason to do things differently the next time. A truly reinforced family pattern....  

Over time, the arena’s gotten smaller, and now it’s just me and Mom. Every fiber of my body knows that I shouldn’t argue with Mom, and that it’s no longer important to be right in my interactions with her, but still... sometimes I just go there. I wish I was bigger than that - but I’m not.

The latest verbal competition was centered around some microscopic bumps on Mom’s head. Hair perms or showering became non-options. Despite several dermatologists proffering a confident “all clear,” Mom thought she should try “one more doctor.” Honestly, I’d lost patience with these seemingly unwarranted office visits. Bear in mind that, although Mom knows a ton of important medical stuff, and she is often right with her multiple self-diagnoses, she is also often wrong. Right?

But I relented. The dermo-du-jour did a quick inspection and concluded the bumps were nothing to be concerned about.... BUT WAIT!.... “What’s this thing underneath your eye? Oooooh... we need to biopsy that – now!” Mom looked at me with her mouth slightly upturned... was that a smile on her face? Not what I’d expect from a patient who’d just been told she needed something on her face biopsied. But, hey, that’s not what the smile was about. No.... Mom was the clear victor in today’s contest. And I was humbled. Mom was right, and I was wrong. She did need to see a dermatologist, and this visit might just have saved her life (hard to say at 91). The point is that Mom still knows what’s best for Mom. As much as it might make me crazy, sometimes she just needs a chauffeur, and not someone to play God for her. Amen to that. 

Emily GaffneyComment