“I’ve just been reading about you in the bathtub. That is you in the bathtub, right? At least that’s how I read it.”
It’s Mom. Calling to check up on how I’m doing. She’s been worried about me since I travelled home to see her. She’s referring to a poem I wrote: A Body in the Bathtub.
“Yes, it is.” I search my mind for the poem, written almost two years ago.
“Well, I was at book club this morning, and we were reading Robert Frost, and I told them my daughter is a writer, and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind if I shared your work with them.”
“Of course not, Mom. You’re in a book club?”
Just two weeks ago, we were afraid we were losing her.
“We call it a book club, but we don’t actually read books – more poetry or short stories. Who knows if we’ll be around long enough for a book,” she chuckles.
“How about that,” she adds; “I said it out loud: My daughter is a writer. That’s what you are, right? “
I have to smile. Is that pride in her voice? I don’t know how to respond.
“I do write.”
“Anyway, I’m rereading the poems you left me and I think this one is about you being published, and how that has given you the incentive to live again.”
I wrote long before anything was published, but I appreciate her interest.
“I remember it to be about me connecting with Dad’s encouragement from beyond the grave,” I offer.
“Oh, yeah, your father is in it too. He always encouraged you.”
I feel like I’m in a bit of an altered reality. For years, Mom has been critical of my life choices, and Dad and my relationship was a little more complicated than she is suggesting, but anyway….Mom in a club discussing literary works, reading Frost – is very… unexpected.
“You must be feeling well, Mom, if you’ve joined a book club.”
“Oh, I’m okay. I’ve just decided I can either lie here and feel sorry for myself, or I can get out and keep living. I went and watched the music downstairs this morning too. They had a couple of good singers.”
“How’s your, Mom?” Ric asks when I hang up.
“She’s joined a book club.”
He raises his eyebrows in disbelief.
“Got to hand it to her; she’s not a quitter.”
(Featured Image: Mom & Dad in earlier days. I’m guessing 35 years ago.)