My mom called me a few days ago to ask what happened to the fox terrier in the newspaper. Every week, there is a dog up for adoption in the paper. I work for that paper, and she gets copies of it in her building each week. Occasionally a dog will strike her fancy and she will call me to find out if the dogs was adopted. It's not that she wants the dog for herself; she just feels bad for it and wants to make sure it's happy.
"They said it was a sweet dog that likes to be petted,' she said. "I felt so bad that it doesn't have a home."
As angry as I can get at her other times, I remember how loving she can be. And as I get older, the naivete dissolves, this feeling that she will live forever. She's been claiming since I was a little kid that she was "dying." She wasn't imagining it; she did have severe medical problems. At some point she finally got the right treatment.
She has other health problems, too. Yet, she worries about a dog in the newspaper. A few weeks ago I went to visit her in her apartment and she baked me a cake, the first time she had done that since I was a little girl. She is still my mom and still wants to be.
I don't know how I will feel when one of my parents passes away, but the grief will probably be a lot deeper than I realize now.
I have met a lot of Baby Boomers lately who talk about how they have to take care of their parents. I guess my generation will see that happen too in the next few decades. It's not our turn yet, but in maybe 20 years it will be.
But for now my mother is still here, so I am lucky for that. The truth is, she is a worrier, and she probably will live a lot longer than she thinks. That reminds me, I have to call her and tell her that the dog got adopted into a good home.