“I hate working sometimes,” Helen told me as she walked down from the road carrying dad’s trashcan this morning. “I’ve got so much work to do today. Vacuum. Clean the bathrooms. Dust the front of the house. Cook your mother’s lunch.”
I had walked up to the road to meet her offering to carry the trashcan for her. Then mom was standing at the backdoor and asked Helen to clean and empty the cat’s litter boxes as well as we walked up under the portico to meet her. Helen looked at me and rolled her eyes as she blew loudly.
“Not my favorite task,” Helen said with a frown as mom escaped back inside. “I was hoping to avoid that today.”
“Poor dear,” I told her as I walked into the foyer and began to empty the litter box on the floor. It was the least I could do after all the awesome meals Helen had cooked over the years.
“Now I know why I don’t own cats,” I told Helen wincing as the stench of ammonia was overwhelming.
Mom had already settled back into the bed when I walked into her bedroom. She was dreading going to get her hair done she said.
“I know Helen must think I am terrible sleeping all the time while she works so hard,” mom told me guiltily with a sigh as she pulled the covers tighter over her.
I was trying to think of something to say to console mom when Helen walked into the room to ask mom what she wanted for lunch.
“Just fix me some tuna salad,” mom replied. “I’ll make sandwiches.”
“Can I take the BMW to the grocery store?” Helen asked as she looked at me with a sly grin.
Mom told her to reach into her desk drawer for the key. I smiled back wishing I could take it for a drive as well. I realized then what an opulent life mom lives if it wasn’t for her obsessive compulsiveness and her schizophrenia. I, too, have a pretty easy life when I am not under the throes of my mental illness. Sometimes, it is hard to see the forest for all the trees as many people have often said over the years.
“Can I have some more Cokes?” I then asked mom after Helen had left.
I was rolling the dice. I had already picked up my six for the day at 5 AM this morning. Mom froze. You could almost see her obsessive compulsive brain working.
“Oh, I guess so!” Mom said blowing and exclaiming as if I had asked for a thousand dollars and a kilo of cocaine. “You really don’t need to be drinking six more.”
“YES!” I exclaimed like a teenager let loose on a Saturday night at the mall.
I walked down to the basement and got six regular diet Cokes, and you don’t know how pleasurable those Cokes were when I got home to chill them, then drink them. Sometimes, it is the little victories like that that make my life so much more enjoyable.