Rob moved back to take care of his mother. What could repair their broken relationship?
|For the fifth time that day he looked at his mother sitting in her recliner, the rainbow knit arm covers draping unevenly on each side, and said, “The TV is broken.”
That didn’t stop his mother from mashing the remote button as hard as her 98-year old finger could press.
“But my show,” she whined.
“I know, Ma. We are just going to have to miss it today.”
It had been a month since Rob had arrived with his duffel bag, moving into his childhood bedroom to take care of his mother. It had been one week longer than that since she fell.
He was surprised that she had let him walk through the door. The last time they had talked she made it sound like the two of them occupying the same room would not happen until one of them was lying in a coffin.
That last fight had been bitter. Grudges cast in bronze and subsequently cured over decades of time apart.
And since he had come back, the conversation had been limited to demands for certain foods, complaints about how the foods were improperly prepared and shouting about the location of the television remote.
For Rob, it was a start. A crack in the bronze shell, revealing the rusted form of their relationship.
He sat down on the ottoman right in front of her, and swallowed hard. For some reason, he was nervous.
“What?” she said, curtly.
“I want to say,” he started, but the words crackled and his eyes welled up. “I want to tell you I am sorry. For so much.”
His mother’s face softened. Her frown melted. For the first time since he had been there, she looked at him like he was her son.
Rob was glad he had unplugged the TV.