Monday, March 2, 2009

How old do you have to be to have this conversation, over and over again?

The music contest is on until this evening.  E-mail me what you think the theme is.  The first to get the right answer will have their avatar posted with a link to your blog for the month of March.  There have been several guesses so far, but I am still looking for the correct answer!

I have noticed over the years, my mom's conversations with me have evolved from "I saw in the paper so-and-so got married" to "I saw so-and-so's mom and she told me that so-and-so had a baby (or baby #2, etc.)" to "I read in the paper that so-and-so got divorced" to "So-and-so got remarried. I think she married so-and-so's brother." You get the idea.

Well, things must really be boring in my hometown or more likely it's just that everyone is getting older because now our conversations are like this:

Mom: "Our friend was just diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer."
Mom: "Our friend died recently of that mesothelioma disease. You know, that cancer disease from absestos exposure. You know he worked all those years rehabbing his rental properties."
Mom: "Our friend was diagnosed with ___________ (fill in the disease)."
Mom: "I read so-and-so's son has had four surgeries in four years for a brain tumor." This conversation just took place this last weekend. She went into all of the details of the surgery and the tumor. She then told me that the dad, who is a HS friend of my brother that my brother no longer keeps in touch with, is divorced. My response? "I guess I didn't know he was even married." Then she had to go on about "oh yes, he got married long before your brother did," etc. etc.

More often than not, I know the people she is talking about, but sometimes I have never met the people she is telling me about. In many cases, when she is telling me about someone I went to high school with, the news is VERY OLD or I really just don't care. I still have quite a bit of contact with many friends I grew up with, so I hear things often, via e-mail, Facebook, telephone calls, etc. Those I don't hear about I am probably not overly interested in hearing about (not to imply that I wish bad things upon anyone, but I just don't need to hear all about it considering I have no relationship with them or anyone they know.). And it's very likely that if she is telling me the story, it is the 1,000th time she's told it to me or if it's the first time I am hearing it, I can guarantee, I will be hearing it for the next year. I dread to wonder how many times I have to hear about the above kid's brain tumor and his surgeries.

My mom is only 66. My dad will be 72 next month. They are very active. It's not like she sits around all day reading the obits and scanning the papers for bad news. But when she hears bad news, she retains it like, FOREVER. Is it that as you get older, you realize more readily how fragile life is? That mortality is getting a little closer? Or is it just they have exausted all other topics of conversation over the years and this is what is left?

7 comments:

  1. oh girl, welcome to my world. i actually don't mind (too much) listening to all the details of the funerals, surgeries, diagnoses of people i don't know because it keeps us safely off of other topics that would send me over the edge. (religion, politics for example)

    my parents are a little older than yours, but they are active, too. i don't know what the deal is.

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  2. Yeah, what's up with that??? Funny.

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  3. Yes, they do exhaust their topics of conversation but also, the life stages change. Just be thankful it is not their bowels they are telling you about:)

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  4. I wish I had some insight for you on this matter, but to be honest, my head is still spinning from listening to my Mom go on and on in a similar fashion while seated next to me at my sons' basketball games this weekend. One kid had a game at 9 a.m., and it started then, then it kicked back in with a vengence at 3 p.m., when we gathered for another game. Sometime in the middle of her talking, I think my kids actually played their games!

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  5. Being the daughter of two 63-year-olds, I believe that it is one of two things: They are just wanting to talk to you, and since you are so busy with your life, they latch onto ANYTHING that will keep you there listening and engaging with them; or they clearly forget that they have told you about it before. I'm going with the former.

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  6. Alright, my friend, I have a weird coincidence for you. My dad emailed my brother and I about who I think is the SAME person just last Thursday. My dad reads the obits every day. He said, "She graduated from BHS in 1974, long before you and your brother." Uh....yeah. The names did sound familiar, but did I KNOW her or any of the people he wrote about? Nope.
    Love the Irish music...my Irish nextdoor neighbor's bday is 3/17 and I can't wait for what she has planned this year!

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  7. When I talk to my dad on the phone he replays his day. I mean the whole itinerary. From getting coffee in the morning to taking the dog for a walk to her escaping over to the neighbors yard to just how far the dog got before he found her. It's hilarious.

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