Thursday, January 14, 2010

As Miss Clavel says, "Something is not right"

My mom is a very wise woman, and convoluted as they may be, conversations with her usually have a message in them that is good for me to hear. So I am at a complete loss as to how to interpret this one. We are driving home, and the discussion (naturally) turns to Oprah.

Mom: She had the most amazing show today. Totally unexpected.
Me: Really?
Mom: Yes. There were these twin boys. Even in the womb they were holding hands. They did everything together. And then one boy got brain cancer. He got better for a while, but then he died. His brother was inconsolable, and the parents were so afraid, because all he wanted to do was leave to be with his brother. So they took him to the pediatrician. I think God told the parents to do that. Because the doctor, instead of giving him drugs like anyone else would have, asked that little boy what he liked to do. He said he liked baking cookies. And you know what she did?
Me: I have no idea.
Mom: The doctor gave him $20, and told him she wanted to invest in his cookie baking business. And you know, the very next week, he came back with a tray of cookies and an itemized list of how he spent the money. And he's been baking ever since! They give the cookies away to help the charities that helped his brother. Nate originally thought he was just going to help them with the business plan, but as soon as he met this boy, he knew his real job was to help them understand how to cope with grief.
Me: Nate? Who's Nate?
Mom: Nate! That's Oprah's designer! He's a genius, really. So gifted. He can take a house, and transform it, but it's still your house. How many designers can do that? I can't believe you don't know Nate. We all love him. And his partner died in the tsunami, and it was just awful when that happened. So of course he was the one to talk to this family and this little boy, and it was amazing how much he was able to help, because he had been through the grieving process so recently himself.
Me: Ah ha.
Mom: The little boy's favorite cookies are from a recipe by a famous chef. The gray haired lady from the south?
Me: Paula Deen?
Mom: Yes! Well, she came on the show with these incredible chocolate cookies she had baked just for him. The family is getting a brand new kitchen from Lowe's, and the audience got gift cards, too. Plus the company is making a huge donation to the charities.
Me: That's so great! What an inspiring story!

As the tale unfolds, I am thinking that Mom's message for me could be one or all of the following:
  • Cookie baking is therapeutic. I am therefore doing God's work, and Mom is proud of me.
  • Find a pediatrician who won't drug your kids, but will instead pay them to start companies. A little tougher, but I can agree with this in concept. Mom and I are on the same page.
  • Don't go to Thailand during tsunami season. Check and double check.
  • Paula Deen's cookies looked really delicious. I will download the recipe and make them immediately, and give Mom half of them to take to the people in her building.
  • Be in the Oprah audience when a corporate sponsor is granting wishes to a family in need. This seems risky to bet on, but I get it.
  • You should buy something at Lowe's. They seem like such a nice company. I might do that. Is there an Oprah viewer discount?
But it is none of the above. Instead, she concludes with this.

Mom: The whole thing made me realize how important it is for you and your sister to have a plan for what to do if something happened to your kids. Grief is a terrible, terrible thing, and it can rip you apart. You can't let it get you. If you have an idea for a lifeline ahead of time, it just might save you. It just might.

She sits back, and we listen to the radio as I drive on through the dark.

Mom: And Oprah doesn't look good, Sharon. I'm worried about her.

I'm worried, too.


  1. I have a few other theories, because we have learned that your Mom's messages operate at many levels:

    * your house could do with a re-design
    * when are you going to stop giving your cookie recipes away for free on the Internet and turn them into a business...

    I like the pediatrician idea though. Making your kids self-sustaining economic units should be on the list of important attributes in choosing their doctor!

  2. OH, this was GOOD. Thank you for making my day!