Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Mother's Big Toe

An old memory popped into my mind this afternoon - a very old memory - and also a new realization. I suddenly remembered my mom having to go for a stay in the hospital. I must've been maybe 6 or 7.  I remember that she wrote little letters to me and my brother and put them on our bedside table. Of course, my brother had to read mine to me. She said that she had a problem with her "big toe" and had to get it fixed. She told us how much she loved us and she admonished us to continue our regular chores and remember to brush our teeth and be nice to one another and to be helpful to our dad. It seemed like a lot of fuss over a big toe, even at the time. It worried me, and it made me feel both incredibly loved and at the same time vaguely sad.

What I remembered today, along with this, is that my mom, as I learned some years later, had to undergo a hysterectomy, having ovaries and tubes removed due to the presence of an abnormal growth.

And I realized at once, more than a half century later, that her little problem, and her little visit to the hospital, had nothing to do with a toe. My God, she was having her uterus removed! Not a simple little thing back in the late 50's / early 60's. Not a sure thing at all.

No wonder! She was, just in case, just on the outside chance, saying goodbye, leaving her love in her own hand. Dear Richy, Dear Gary ....

Dear Mom.

She was the kindest woman in the world. The very next thing to an angel.

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