Hospice and Leave — Day 8

Day 8 (Wed 9/17):  

I didn’t get to go to Mom’s house on Wednesday, and I was not happy about that at all, but other parts of my life intruded and demanded to be dealt with so I spent the day at home.  With grade reports due at midnight, I spent day 8 of my Family Medical Leave grading virtually every assignment I had given thus far this school year.      

In between essays, I was taking calls from my mortgage person.  The current plan was to close on our mortgage at 2pm the next day, and the banking people were finally FINALLY getting serious about dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s in our file. Of course, we’d been told we would close several times before and hadn’t so I was trying not to get my hopes up.  

Throughout it all, Mom and I talked on the phone, of course — a constant running dialogue that unexpectedly forced me to process and verbalize my thoughts about my day as it unfolded.  

“Mom, I just graded the most amazing assignment ever.  I’d never assigned this particular TED Talk as homework before, but wow!  It really got them thinking.”

“Good for you!  Write it down so you don’t forget.  I used to love it when a lesson plan actually worked.  Things that seem great in theory don’t always work in a real classroom.”  

Ain’t that the truth.  

The calls from our mortgage loan originator person were not as pleasant.  Around lunchtime, she and I had an exchange that went like this:

Her:  “We may not close tomorrow.  We’ve got a problem.”

Me:  “I’m shocked.”

Her (either not catching or just ignoring my sarcasm — not sure which): “The underwriters can’t verify your employment.  They verified Clint’s employment, but they can’t verify yours.”

Me:  “Um, he and I work at the same place. You all know this.”

Her:  (Complete silence.)  “Hmmm.  Oh yeah.  OK.  I’ll email her now.”

And so it went.  All day long.  After the employment verification conversation, I called my mother to vent.

“Kelly,” she said when I finally paused to take a breath, “I’m worried about this situation.”

“Me, too. These people are making me crazy.”

“I know. They’re driving me crazy, too. But you are going to have to deal with them even after you close on the mortgage so you need to be nice. I’m serious.  Don’t show your ass.” 

 Wait.  What?  

Hold on a sec.  My mom never ever EVER cussed when I was growing up.  Never.  The worst word I ever heard her say was “Dern!” and that was when she cut off the end of her finger while making beef stew.  But nowadays she is feeling spunky enough to say “ass.”  I can’t talk for long seconds.

“Why are you laughing?” she asked.  “Didn’t I say it right?”

Oh. my. goodness.  I was literally on the floor crying tears. 

 An hour or so later, she called again.  

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m putting on shoes and makeup for the first time all day so I don’t look like a heathen at church.”

“You’re going to church?  Are your grade reports done?”  This is a new twist on a very old conversation — “You’re going out?  Is your homework done?”

“No, not quite.  But I’m not skipping church.  The kids want to go and so do I.  Grading can wait.  My priorities are you and the kids.  Well, and the new dog — she is very high maintenance.  And the house, of course.  And Clint.  Well, and God.”

“Not in that order, I hope. I taught you better than that.”

And she was right.  She did teach me better than that. She taught me that what mattered was faith, family, and friends…in that order.  She taught me to be kind instead of “showing my ass”…even when life is unfair and I have been wronged.  And she taught me to stop and reflect on my days…because whether they were monumental or humdrum, there is something in every day to be acknowledged and celebrated and learned.     ♥  


I spent much of the day grumpy so if there was a theme song, it would have probably been the “Imperial March” from Star Wars.  But after laughing with my mom and going to church, I was singing this some as well.  It reminds me of what matters and soothes my soul: 

So I’ll walk upon salvation

Your spirit alive in me

This life to declare your promise

My soul now to stand.



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