I need my M++ommy.
It doesn’t matter than I am 58 years old.
Or that Mom went to God in 1996.
What matters is I have been down with lung gunk for three weeks now, and I need my Mommy.
Because she always made it better when I was sick.
Dry toast and flat 7 Up if you were puking. Chicken noodle soup with Saltine crackers if not.
A cool, wet washrag for your forehead. An aspirin hidden in a spoonful of grape jelly. And a mug of honey & lemon juice in hot water.
Stubbed toe or other pavement-related wounds?
Magical and painless Mercurochrome, if it was not too bad, but stinging Merthiolate if it was deep, to make sure there was no infection. Or sass.
Football or baseball or elbow to the eyeball? On the couch, curtains drawn, eyeball covered with a huge bag of frozen pees, and the huge Zenith console television tuned to Foreman Scotty for the good, if watering, eyeball.
Flu or general chest gunk (always my Achilles heel)?
Chicken noodle soup. Oatmeal with honey. Vicks VapoRub applied to the chest, under the nose, and a scoop dropped into the old, brown vaporizer, which ran round-the-clock.
Plus some hideous cough medicine that was so child-abusingly awful that I have blocked its name from my memory.
Dear Lord, a trip to Dr. Patton’s office and a shot from wonderful nurse Martha’s syringe (which had a needle as big as the one I used to air up my basketball).
Really bad stiff neck (normally caused because I had played so hard that I slept all night in whatever position I was in when I collapsed into the bunk bed)?
Magical Mom Neck Massages with VapoRub. Electric heating pad. Banana pudding. And TWO comic books from Mr. Uhles’ store.
Jammed neck? Sprained ankle? Hyper-extended elbow? Various stuff all swole-up?
Ice pack, Ace bandage, Tylenol, and a visit to Dr. Patton’s office if an expensive X-ray was really necessary.
And, sadly, they were called for a lot. Norman’s Nebraska Street was a battleground.
Modern Man Whine
So here I sit.
Still coughing and lethargic and big-time whiny (like about half of the adult male population of New Zealand, or so I hear).
Yes, the worried Missus is pumping all sorts of Western and, God-help-me, Chinese medicines into me: (Note, when the Missus says “We Chinese always take this because we believe…” you can be sure it will taste like road kill, but it will work).
And, yes, she has made me go to the doctor twice.
So the Missus is totally doing her job.
And yet, why do I feel that if my Mom were here, it would be better?
She’d caress my cheek, take my temperature for the 900th time, get out the Vicks, put a damp washrag on my forehead, turn on the vaporizer, give me strawberry short cake and hot Dr Pepper, put up the TV tray, turn on Ho-Ho the Clown and cover me in a patchwork quilt as I melt into the couch.
Then she’d kiss me on the forehead.
And it would be better.
It just would.
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