The Conversation

I never know what direction a conversation with my mother will go. Sometimes it is as simple as chatting about the boys or her wanting me to get another dog to fill the void Presley left. But, then there are times when the conversation goes off the rails. In my head, I hear the GPS lady saying, “recalculating”.

Yesterday, I called to check-in. She is loving her new caregiver and she seems more content. There are gaps in her memory and she is seemingly more confused, but that is simply a partnership with aging. When she answered the phone, she was eager to tell me that she visited the cemetery where my father is buried. Reporting on the state of the greenery around his tombstone, and how they haven’t been diligent in the care. Consequently, she called their office to voice her complaint. While she was in full assertive mode, she asked about the space next to the plot where my father resides. She says to me, “They are going to call me back, but I thought it would be ideal for your family to buy if it is available.” Slow your roll, lady. Pretty sure that the only real estate I want to purchase doesn’t involve me being six feet under. Plus, I am leaning toward cremation, so I really don’t need a lot of space. I am going to be a minimalist in death since I am not proficient in adopting that facet of life at this point.

“Mom, I don’t really want to be buried there.”

“You said you did.”

“No, I was joking. What I said is I would just have my ashes sprinkled on top of you.” She despises the thought of cremation, so I love to yank her chain a little bit. It’s my jam.

“I can never tell if you are joking or not.” Okay, I will give her that because sometimes, I can’t tell myself.

“Mom, I will spend the afterlife with you, so we don’t have to be neighbors in the cemetery.”

“Fine. Then I won’t share what the lady from the cemetery tells me about that space next to our plot.” So, that is her threat. I am really okay with that and look forward to not hearing about it. But, I will. Because, she is like a dog with a bone.

I appreciate that my mother is looking ahead to my demise. Planning it out so we can be neighbors. But, there has been so much death and grief in the last few months, I would prefer to not have it up for discussion. This is what happens when I let a conversation with my mother goes rogue.

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