"Yes...No...Maybe...I Don't Know"

I just returned home from going out with a girlfriend. When I walked in, my mother says, "I have to talk to you," which in my high school years would have turned my stomach with my thought pattern being something like, "Oh God. What does she know?"

My car is currently for sale. This morning we took the car and left it in a parking lot. So, she says to me, "I cannot find your keys. I have looked everywhere. I have combed through both cars, my purse, everywhere. I just don't know where they could be." As she says this to me, she has the stance of a child with a sad look of complete frustration and disappointment mixed with an expectation of a tongue-lashing. All I can do is jokingly grill her, though I am holding back laughter the whole time. As we discuss slim possibilities, she decides to go scout the driveway because I dropped her off at the end of it this morning. She comes back and says, "It looks like I ran over them. I am so, so sorry. I can't believe I did that. But they still work."

To add insult to injury, I spy a YELLOW SMILEY FACE balloon in my car. I said, "Oh my God. What the hell is that?" She says to me, "We're going to get this car noticed. I bought a big bow, too," as she whips it out of the back seat, holding it over the windshield, Vanna White style. I am reminded of my childhood. There is an instant fear that everyone will drive by that car and say, "Dude, that's Jeni Reno's car. Oh my God. How gay is that?" My face contorts in horror, and then all I can do is laugh at her utter excitement.

Before she goes to bed, she leans over me and apologizes again about the keys. I tell her that there is a good chance that I was actually the one that ran over them. She says, "No, I think the truck would have just demolished them." I retort with, "Yeah, but what about the new car." She mulls it over and says, "But we used the other side of the driveway, didn't we?" I say, "Yes, when I left, but I came home the other way."

She thinks for a second and says, "No, you didn't. Did you? I'm confused. Wait." There is more frustration on her face. I pat her cheek and tell her to just go to bed.

It's hard watching my mother age. Within the past year, she has had an increasingly difficult time communicating with anyone. My father and I have to fill in gaps for her. It kind of takes two people tag teaming to understand what she is trying to explain. We laugh about it, but I know that it really frustrates her. She has recently started taking a new hormone but can only take it for the first few days out of the month. On those days, when she has her hormone, she is like the mother that I have always known.

I don't know how long I will get to keep her, but I'd gladly take her either way.


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