The complications of being an adult plus the benefits of a good chili cheeseburger

There are a lot of things they don’t tell you about when you’re growing up. 401k’s, amortization and equity are in the top ten unless you grew up on the home of some sort of day trading loan broker. Or Donald Trump’s house. Or maybe you did learn all of those things growing up in the house you grew up in and it was only mine that didn’t have that stuff. I don’t know.


No one bothered to tell me there’d be days like these.

I am of an age where my parent (mom) isn’t getting any younger. Sadly, I’m not alone. I’ve spoken with several of you who find yourselves in similar situations. I’ve read the posts on Facebook. And I never know what to say. But I think I should say something, help, make whoever is going through the same kind of stuff I am, feel better. And clicking ‘like’, while the easy way out, seems wrong.

All of it reminds me of Buffy’s conversation with Jonathan when they’re in the bell tower of Sunnydale High.

Jonathan: Stop saying my name like we’re friends. We’re not friends. You all think I’m an idiot. A short idiot.

Buffy: I don’t. I don’t think about you much at all. Most people here don’t. Bugs you, doesn’t it? You’ve got all this pain, all these feelings and nobody’s paying attention.

Jonathan: You think I just want attention?

Buffy: No, I think you’re in the bell tower with a high powered rifle because you want to blend in. Believe it or not, Jonathan, I understand. About the pain.

Jonathan: Oh, right. ‘Cause the burden of being beautiful and athletic, that’s a crippler.

Buffy: I’m sorry, I was wrong. You are an idiot. My life happens very occasionally to suck beyond the telling of it. More than I can stand sometimes. And not just me. Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they’re way too busy with their own. The beautiful ones, the popular ones, the guys that pick on you… everyone. If you could hear what they’re feeling – the confusion, the loneliness… It looks quiet down there. It’s not. It’s deafening.

I recently spent a week at the hospital with my mom. You know this. I barely ate. Drank far more coffee than is probably safe. Barely slept. Kept up with my job (hence the no sleep).

I don’t tell you this to elicit sympathy and get you to comment on this post. It simply is what it is. You do what you have to do, even the stuff they never told you about growing up. Like so many other people I know, I’m doing what I have to do. It’s not easy, but it’s right. Or I think it is. It must be.

Chili cheeseburgerWatching someone have mounting health issues isn’t easy either. You feel helpless. Doesn’t help when that someone also feels helpless and angry and depressed at the betrayal of their own body. And fights you every step of the way while you’re trying to help them.

At times, you feel the weight of it all crashing down on you. You also see a glimpse of your own possible future. Staying positive becomes an insurmountable obstacle.

How you deal with it? Well, that’s unique to you, isn’t it? And you have to deal. Somehow. Someway. Because not dealing, well, that would be very bad.

After a week in hell, and nearly another week where I cooked (and ate) a lot of low-fat meals, I got into the car for lunch one day and instead of any of my usual places which feature relatively healthy meals, I drove to Red Robin and ordered their chili cheeseburger.

And it was glorious.


  • partlowspool Posted November 30, 2015 7:47 am

    You do what you have to, to get through. Sometimes it’s one day at a time. Sometimes it’s one hour at a time. Minutes. Seconds. You get to the end of one so you can can launch yourself into the next. Your mom is lucky to have you in her corner. mb

  • Lyn Posted December 3, 2015 7:00 pm

    No kidding. I could say so much more, but here’s the important thing: You’re a good son, Patrick. A good person. If being a good person were easy, everyone would do it.

    Was it a good chilicheesburger? I hope it was outrageous.

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