Friday, April 07, 2006

A Conversation with My Mother

"Don't you ever think about leaving all of this?" I asked my mother.

"Where am I going to go? I am sixty-three, an old woman with no job, no career," she replied.

"Do I find a new husband, go out on dates?" She laughed bitterly at that. "I am an old woman," she repeated. "Who wants an old woman?"

"Am I to live on my own? Am I to live with my children, who've made lives on their own?"

She paused, "Am I to live with you?"

It was a rhetorical question, or so I hoped.

Then.

"Yes," I said. "Come and live with me." It was the right thing to say, though I was afraid she'd take me up on it.

She looked at me, reading my heart.

"No, this is my lot. This is where I belong," she said. "Thank you for the offer, you are a good son."

A good son. Those three leaden words hang heavily around my neck.

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All About My Mother - Think you can handle it?

This is part of a series of posts about my vacation in February of '06 in the Philippines. Read the rest here:

Part 1: The Long Way Home
Part 2: Starvation
Part 3: Fake Plastic Food
Part 4: My Old Room
Part 5: Autopilot
Part 6: Jetlag

Part 7: A Conversation with My Father
Part 8: Archeology
Part 9: A Conversation with My Mother
Part 10: Redeye
Part 11: I Carry Your Heart
Epilogue: Fun with Fake Poop

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