Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Mom the Savior

I was talking to the Greek Goddess recently (who's also on Dialysis) and our conversation wandered into how we discovered our condition.

(People call it ESRD. That's just a medical way of saying "End Stage Renal Disease.")

I remember mine quite vividly.

We had been trekking back and forth between Stockton and UCSF a number of times and I was blissfully unaware of the full extent of my condition.

My parents had just started their own screen printing business and my Dad always stayed and worked while my Mom shuttled me to these excruciatingly tedious appointments.

Before all the strip malls and fast food stops along the 580 corridor, once you passed Tracy, Pleasanton and Livermore didn't really have many exits. Except for the impending traffic, it was usually a pleasant drive with slices of Americana: the aroma of cows, the roar of tractors and the occasional hitchhiker.

Halfway between our trek was the Hopyard Road exit with a gas station and a Denny's. That's it.

God help me but I loved Denny's when I was a kid. Maybe it was because it was a treat I felt I deserved. Because an hour or so later I'd be filling up a container with urine or handing over my blood to another merciless needle.

It was on one of these fateful trips that my Mom laid everything out for me. Between the time we ordered and the arrival of my eggs and juice, I learned my fate.

She never talked down to me, never simplified the facts. She knew I was bright enough to understand if she explained it slowly and patiently. I remember the look in her eyes vividly. Her gaze never left mine, serious but concerned.

I gained a lot of respect for my Mom that day and an appreciation for her I have never allowed to waver.

A year later she went under the knife and sacrificed her kidney so I could forge a better life for myself.

My Mom is in her sixties now, retired and enjoying a well deserved rest with my father in the middle of nowhere in Oregon.

If I told her this story, she might not remember. That's ok. We made countless trips to and from the hospital that they all blurred into one long excursion.

I've carried this with me my entire life and never had a chance to thank her, so thank you Mom.

And I have to end this entry now because I'm starting to tear up.

Good night Mom.

1 comment:

  1. That is so sweet. Moms are the best. I loved Denny's too when I was a kid and now I think it's a grease pit! LOL