Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Memories, Gallbladder, and Tom Sawyer

I have sat here in front of this screen reading some of my favorite journals, fully intending to write a new entry when I was through being inspired and entertained by other’s words. But, twice I ended up with pain in my upper back, muscle aches, and a fever. I thought I just had a case of ’the kids brought the flu home from school’, but how many times can one have the flu in a 10 day period.

The doctor says it’s not the flu. She thinks it’s gall bladder disease, or gall stones, or gall something or other. I have to go have a series of tests to prove her right. She says I fit the general ’F’s” of gall bladder trouble... Female, Fair, Forty Plus, and Family.

My mother and sister both had to have gall bladder surgery. I hate being a copy cat. It Galls me!

My son’s summation: “What’s the extreme end of all the tests, mom?”


“Well you better get yourself prepared. You never get a break when it’s a medical matter.”

“Thanks kid. I needed that pep talk.”


For everyone that left a caring message on my “Result of Needing a Hero” entry ... I almost have the memories back on their shelf, and the cupboard door locked except for one little incident that seems to haunt me. I remember the dress I wore right down to the length of the skirt. I remember his mother’s frightened and worried face. I remember the crowd of people milling around us. I even remember what color she wore, but for the life of me I can’t remember why she and I were in a crowded room talking about a very private matter. The memory doesn’t bring me trauma. It just makes me sad to close my eyes and see her loving mother’s face so full of sorrow. I probably will not be able to retrieve the full experience and I don’t really think I want to. It’s just that being the mother of a son I know how vulnerable she must have felt.

Thank you so much for the love and concern that you left for me to read. I’m certain that your words are a great part of the reason I have been able to successfully deal with the problem.


When my son was young we called him ‘Tom’. He was the epitome of a re-born Tom Sawyer.

“If you want to swim in the pool this afternoon you have to mow the lawn.”

That having been said he would sit on the front lawn with the mower propped beside him. Eventually one or more of his friends would wander by, they would have a short conversation, the friend would grab the mower and voila! ... the lawn got mowed.

“If you want the money to go to the movies you have to help your grandmother paint the fence.”

Twenty minutes later a passel of young boys would show up at my mother’s house to help her paint the fence.

“If you want to blah, blah, blah you have to clean your room.”

In a little bit, a young female would knock on my door and say “I’ve come over to help Dave clean his room. He’s so cute. I love cleaning his room.”

All the years that he and I lived alone and raised one another I don’t think I ever saw him do an assigned chore by himself. Especially clean his room!

I used to tease him that he should start a ‘teenage boy’s room cleaning’ service. He could have talked those pretty young girls into cleaning all sorts of bedrooms. Charge the boy’s to have their rooms cleaned and then pay the girls with a smile (and maybe a bit of something that I wasn’t entirely aware of). At any rate, whatever it was that he used to induce the girls to clean he used it profusely. He had one of the cleanest rooms of any of the boys in our neighborhood.

Back to the present. Yesterday my grandson’s best friend came charging into the house half out of breath. “Come on, hurry, you’ve got to give me some help!” he yelled the minute he saw my grandson‘s face.

It seems that his teenage sister decided that his room needed cleaning and when he yelled at her to stay out of his inner sanctum she called a bunch of her girl friends to come over and help her persuade him to let her clean.

My grandson: “Are any of them cute?”

Out of Breath Friend: “Some of them are really hot looking!”

My Grandson: “I’ll be right there.”

Me: “Are you going to let them clean it for you?”

Out of Breath Friend: “No way! Well, maybe if they’re cute enough, I might.”

My Grandson: “I’ll help you decide on the cute business. Come on let’s go!”

Me: OMG the Tom Sawyer syndrome is alive and well! It has just morphed a bit. Now your younger sister brings the girls to you!

I think I’ll try the ‘Pennie’ Sawyer trick. I’m gonna go see what I have to offer John to clean the bathroom for me. Seems to me he wrote about silk sheets and baby oil the other day. But hey, I can finagle my way around that. I can always say .... “Not tonight dear, I have a gall bladder!”

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