Look on the Bright Side of Life

 
“My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a Quaker.” Woody Allen
 
My mother is a card-carrying pessimist and worrywart. 
 
She’s been that way as long as I can remember.  Her world view can be summed up as:  “If there isn’t anything to worry about, just wait.  There will be.” 
 
She doesn’t see the glass as half full or half empty.  She worries about who’s been using the glass before her and did they have a cold.
 
My Mother is particularly pessimistic about the marriages in our family. 
 
Both my brother and I have gone through divorces (two for him, just one for me.  At least I’ve got that going for me). 
 
She and my Dad, however, managed to stay married for almost 60 years.  Their marriage was a good one, from all appearances, but she came from an era where you were supposed to stay married no matter what.
 
I remember a couple that my parents were good friends with when I was growing up.  Even at the tender age of 10, I could tell these two loathed each other.  The wife was from the South.  She would smile that Scarlett O’Hara smile, dripping with honey, and say “Dear” to her husband, but only through tightly gritted teeth. 
 
If anybody should have gotten a divorce for the kids’ sake, it was them.  But, they stuck together to the bitter end.
 
My Mother never understood the reasons behind my divorce, or my brother’s.  She only knew that we’d “blown it” in some way.  (Her words.)
 
I’ve been happily married to my second husband for almost 35 years now, and my brother has been married (I assume happily) to his third wife for at least 25 years, so you would think my Mother would relax a bit.
 
Nope.
 
The other day when I went to take her grocery shopping, she said my brother had phoned her from his home in Colorado.  He said his wife had to go to California to be with her grown daughter from her first marriage. 
 
The daughter had been seriously ill with some mysterious illness and had been hospitalized.  My sister-in-law stayed in California for 38 days with her, but now she was back home.
 
I expressed concern about my brother’s stepdaughter and hoped that everything was going to be okay for her.  When I pressed my Mother about the details, she kind of brushed it off—partly because she can’t remember sh*t, but also because that wasn’t her biggest concern at the moment.
 
Out of the blue, she said “I hope they aren’t getting a divorce.”
 
For a moment I thought she was talking about someone else; maybe the kids across the street who ricochet back and forth in her esteem from a “lovely couple” to potential contestants on “Divorce Court.”
 
But, no.  She was referring to my brother and his wife–only because she was gone for 38 days–taking care of her desperately ill daughter. 
 
My Mother’s mind (much like the Lord) truly works in mysterious ways.
 
 
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17 thoughts on “Look on the Bright Side of Life

  1. I’ve wondered what worrying is about…is it just fear of being caught off guard? If’ it’s been worried about, it’s not a surprise? Gads – not worth the wasted energy.

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    • I think you may have something there, souldipper. My Mother worries about all possible scenarios, perhaps, as you say, to get the jump on any surprises. We’ve always said that is she doesn’t have something to worry about, she’ll make something up. 🙂

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  2. Hi,
    It is surprising how many people worry for worry’s sake, but it’s amazing that a lot of things just seem to work out in the end, and it’s just not worth the worry.

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    • I’ve tried to tell her that many times when it comes to her worrying about the marriages in our family. “You have no control over what happens!” But it’s hard to change 91 years of worrywart-ness.

      Thanks for stopping by, magsx2! Y’all come back.

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  3. Oh my gosh! I love the picture you included. Where did you find it?
    Ms. Texas, this was an entertaining post. Thank you for sharing. I am a worrier. Although, if I am with someone worrying, I don’t worry. As long as I know someone is worried – I’m fine with it not being me.
    This was fun. Thanks again.

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    • That reminds me of that classic hypochondriac, Oscar Levant. After his death, comics used to say that his epitaph should have been inscribed with “I told you I was ill.”

      Thanks for commenting, Angelina Reese! Y’all come back.

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  4. Yes, I worry, too. My theory is that if I worry about it, it won’t happen. It is that stuff that comes up from behind and catches you upside the head that’s bad. It has proven itself accurate so far.
    But wait, what if it isn’t……….????

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    • I think you’re on to something, chlost. My Mother worries about all the possible (and impossible) ramifications of everything. I think she feels that if you say it out loud, it won’t happen. And what would the neighbors think?

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  5. the ATC is perfect! and i know this one well… of my entire family (mom, dad, four children), my dad and i were the only ones not divorced. dad was mom’s 3rd husband. but that hasn’t stopped her from complaining about all of the failed marriages in the family!

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