Let me begin by saying that I adore my mother. And one thing about her that I love is that she appreciates the occasional fun at her expense and doesn’t take things too seriously. So I think she’ll take this with all of the humor intended.


I received an e-mail from my mom last night (Thursday). It was a fairly typical missive from my mother, who’s e-mail messages come to me in one of a few categories: supportive, informative, instructional, or (frankly) spam.


The supportive e-mails are usually along the vein of something she’s read or has heard from someone in a similar situation to whatever situation I may be encountering that I need support getting through. My mom has always been my biggest, most unabashed cheerleader, so as much as the child in me wants to simply say “geez, mom,” the parent in me loves getting these messages.


The informative e-mails have something about family, or friends, or some link that she came across that she finds interesting.


The instructional are a combination of the two previous types, being more heavy-handed in saying almost directly “you should do this,” without actually saying those very words.


And the spam are the usual: chain mail forwards, jokes that are on their fourth, fifth, or sixth go-round on the web, or links to those “uplifting” or strange stories that people like to forward. No harm done in receiving these…I’ve probably already seen them, but it’s fun to see what mom finds interesting enough to forward on to me. It’s that chance to see how her mind works that I enjoy.


I think my mom and I share at least one message each day, either a phone call, voice mail, or e-mail. It doesn’t need to be much or even substantive, but we’ve always seemed to have it: that need to just keep in touch and subconsciously tell the other we’re still here and we’re doing okay.


So this e-mail from Thursday night was in the supportive category, saying she’d been forgetting for a while to tell me that a friend of hers had let her know about his experience with a CPAP. For a paragraph, it tells me that it took his body 6 months to get used to the machine and straighten itself out before he could really get some results with his weight loss. The paragraph closes with the message that “I thought this might give you more hope that all will work together!”


Sweet, right? My mom’s totally got my back.


Then there’s the PS:

ps. Your dad was just diagnosed with pneumonia–he is on meds.




It’s probably good that I don’t live out of town–I might be informed of my father’s death via a comment on this site. I didn’t even know he was still sick (he hadn’t been feeling great a week or so ago, but this entered a new realm). And I know that this wasn’t meant as casually as it had been presented, but still…


It’s probably good that I’m not likely to be famous and have my papers (such as they are) preserved for posterity, because I’d wonder how the future would look on e-mails like that. It would be like John Adams getting a letter from Abigail telling him about all that is going at the family home and farm, and a PS down at the end telling him that John Quincy was just elected president. Or researchers discovering a Nixon phone recording with Henry Kissinger and ending it by asking Kissinger if it would kill him to bring a donut in next time he was in the White House.


Actually, it’s one of those reassuring things about the note that tells me it wasn’t that serious. If it had been serious, the announcement would have been at the top of the e-mail.


And it might have been sent to 20 people.


Love you, mom!


See you tomorrow.