The universe was apparently trying to tell me something when I got MS. The message? Sloooooowwww dowwwwwwn.
And I’ve tried to heed the advice, really. But slow isn’t really my style. I’m more a it’s-already-finished-and-filed-away-move-onto-the-next-challenge personality type — I feel in my element frenetically zig-zagging from one task to the next.
I don’t linger. I hate dawdlers. And admittedly, it was my mom’s moseying that bothered me the most. Years of back-breaking factory work coupled with a crushed foot some years ago means that she isn’t setting any land speed records nowadays.
In those (un)heady weeks after I got home from the hospital, I got a sense of her struggle as I shuffled along with my cane and unsteady gait.
When it came time to finally get out and about and run errands, we set off for the big box store, newly gotten handicapped parking tag hanging from the rear-view mirror.
I was insistent that I walk as much as possible. She was equally insistent that I not.
So naturally, we do what any slightly gimpy mother-daughter combo would do in this situation: Get on the beeping carts.
Both of us.
I spent the next hour trying to avoid her as we putt-putted around the grocery aisles. She’s getting bananas, and I’m going bananas. Every time I heard her cart’s distant beep, I high-tailed it in the opposite direction.
Yes, I went out of my way to avoid her.
The sight of the defective duo was too absurd, me too mortified to be seen with my mother under those circumstances, even though I knew full well she was right and I needed to be on that cart.
And then the unthinkable happened. The cart I loathed so much gave out on me, out of juice from all of the extra carting I had done.
So naturally, I do what any slightly gimpy daughter would do in this situation: Start trying to manually pedal my cart to the nearest checkout while still trying to avoid my mother.
It almost worked. As I loaded the last of my bags into a real cart, she came jauntily rolling by.
“You’re still not finished?” she asked innocently. “And where’s your beeping cart?”