Monday, July 30, 2007

LESSON: Sometimes it just ain't about you.

This weekend, my mother demanded that we take her to the Aquarium. At first, I was annoyed by the way she demanded that we take her. She was acting like I lock her up in the house and never let her come out to see the rays of the sun. And that ain’t the truth. But since Mama really doesn’t get a chance to get out and about like she did before the stroke, I understand where her frustration lies. I guess it’s just easier for her to blame me instead of the stroke. Why? I don’t know. Anyway… Moving on to the point of this entry...

Well, I told everybody to get dressed and let’s get ready to go. The whole house was shocked by my spontaneity. Well, I meant what I said. Get dressed and let’s get ready to roll.

In the most recent five years, I wouldn’t have been able to just jump up and take seven folks to the Aquarium. But I got a little change in my pocket. So, money in the bank gives a girl a little more freedom to move and move with the wind. And the world needs to know that Angie loves that!

Well, we made a couple of stops to pick up more family before we get downtown. We pay for parking. (Yes, you had to pay for parking at the Aquarium.) And then we get to the counter. I paid $120 for everyone to get in. At first I was annoyed by how much it cost to get in. But I took a deep breath and decided not to focus on the money. I decided to focus on love and family instead.

We walk into the Aquarium and start our little tour of the exhibit. And then all of the sudden I remembered something. I can’t see. No matter how much I squint my eyes, concentrate, think positive, pray, and eat carrots, the fact is that I cannot see. And here I was walking through a place that was designed for the seeing.

I almost got sad. But I slapped myself on the inside and told my self to snap out of it. This trip was not about me anyway. This was for my mother and the less fortunate family members I had with me. This was my chance to stick my feelings in my pocket and let others experience some joy. So, I shifted and decided to ignore the fact that I couldn’t see. Again, the trip to the Aquarium wasn’t about me. It was about love. It was about exposing those that I love to something other than the four walls of their house.

After my folks got through looking at all the aquariums and sticking there hands in different tanks to feel the swimming creatures, we stepped outside to go on a few of the rides that they have at the Aquarium. We took a train ride through the area and did a tour through a glass cave that houses sharks. Yet another thing I couldn’t see. But I didn’t even go there. I just listened to the narration that was spilling from the speakers of the train. I couldn’t see the trapped sharks, but I learned a few things about them while sitting on the train. Strangely enough, I have a greater respect of sharks. Not that I didn’t respect them from the jump… Well, I guess I feared them rather than respected them. There is a difference.

Then we stood in line to ride the ferris wheel. We stood in line so long, I felt like I was at Six Flags. It was kind of nice. I took a trip down memory lane, thinking of all the times I went to the amusement park as a sighted little girl. I used to have a blast. But moving on…

As I was climbing in the ferris wheel, I imagined that everyone that was standing in line was staring at me, the blind woman, trying to figure out why in the heck was this blind lady getting on the ferris wheel. But I closed the door on that thought and climbed in. But then the thought revisited me as I was climbing out of the car of the ride. I told my cousin that every one was probably looking at me, wondering why did blindy get on the ferris wheel. My cousin, with her very colorful language, told me to not give a **** about what other’s thought of me. I laughed at her for her bluntness. But I also got the message.

(Don’t worry. This entry is coming to a close.)

After riding the ferris wheel, we went on the inside of the Aquarium to have dinner. I had heard mixed opinions about the taste of the food. But one thing that was agreed upon by everyone that gave me testamonials was that it was expensive. So, I braced myself for the cost and the taste. One I knew what to expect, and the other I didn’t. But I knew that both experiences could rub me the wrong way.

Well, the prices weren’t as bad as they could have been. It was like the prices of any nice restaurant. And the food wasn’t as bad as folks said it was. It was okay. Not wonderful. But not bad.

And the price wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The ticket was $90 for all of us. Yeah, I told everyone to be economical when they were ordering. But it really could have been more costly. Thank God for appetizers. LOL

At the end of that little trip, I was in the hole by $260. I almost started getting ticked. But then I remembered that it wasn’t about me. It was about giving a little joy and happiness to the woman that I love so much, even if it was for only a few hours. And she certainly was happy. She was like a kid that had been trapped in a toy store for the weekend. And I was also glad to have done something nice for my family members. Each of them is less fortunate than me. So, I got a chance to give to those who under normal circumstances would have never gotten a chance to do something that nice.

(Well, I’m finally finished with this long entry. Thanks for hanging in there with me. **grin**)

Here's a link to the
Downtown Aquarium, in case you want to take your family or anyone you love.

Peace and happiness,

Miss Braden


Anonymous said...

Mama was pleased. What else id there to consider? Really, I can relate to your post from experiences with my own mother in the years before she died, and I experienced that "Hey, wait a minute" flash of irritation when she demanded something in an especially demanding way. However, I soon realized it stemmed from the frustration on her part. The frustration of being an in-control, intelligent, powerful woman for several decades, and suddenly seeing that all, or mostly, gone.'s the frustration.

Opinionated Diva said...

*sigh* This definitely left me thinking about so much. As a single person, with no children it's SOOOOOOOOOO easy to just think about and worry about me, myself and I. I wouldn't say I'm a selfish person, but I'm realizing that I'm not exactly focused on considering others too much.

"Sometimes it just aint about (me)" is so right. That's going to be my motto for the rest of the week.

On another note, I can not believe how expensive the Aquarium has become. Sheeeeeeeeeeeesh!

Asabagna said...

Interesting and thought-provoking post.


Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Ten years ago, the doctors told us that my mother had cancer, that she less than a year to live. I remember that my mother asked to do some of the things that had meant the most to her:

She wanted to visit her sister in Baltimore, so I drove her there. She wanted to walk along the ocean, and so we went and we walked. She wanted to fly and kite, and we flew kites. Although she had committed to a macrobiotic type diet in the hopes of curing her cancer, her last peculiar desire was that I stop along the highway and take her to Popeye's Fried Chicken.

Although the doctors had told her she was going to die, she had resisted up until that point. When she asked to stop for greasy fried chicken instead of insisting on maintaining her careful anti-cancer diet, I realized she had accepted her fate. She was going, and now she wanted to do those things she would never do again in this life.

I'm glad I was there to share those moments with her, and to accommodate her wishes, because those were the last moments we had together.

So, I'm glad you had both time and money to take your mother together with your whole family on a family outing that is special to your mother. Because in this life, all of our days are numbered.

Angie said...

Anon, Thanks for your comment. It's strange how knowing that someone understands what you're going through is somehow comforting. I do believe that you understand the road I'm traveling with the woman I love so much. I'm stil learning how to cope with the loss of the brilliance, strength, and energy that my mother had. And if I'm frustrated by the loss, I know she is. God bless her. God bless all mothers. God bless you for sharing your story.

Angie said...

Opinionated Diva: How nice of you to visit and comment on my blog for a second time. I'm so honored! BTW: I like your blog. I'll be hitting you up there soon.

I know what you mean about having to always keep yourself in check when you are a single, free woman. But the truth is that our singleness should really cause us to be more available to serve others. So in a way, the fact that I am a single woman has empowered me to be more selfless, giving, and actively generous.

Yes, it is certainly tempting to just drop everyone and completely do me. But what would life be if we weren't providing some kindness and hope to others?

Have a blessed day, week, month, year, life!

Angie said...

Asa, my darling brother,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I'm always glad to see you here.

God bless you and yours!

Angie said...

Hi Francis!

What did I do to deserve a visit from the hardest working man in the Afrosphere. I must be doing something right. (smile)

Francis, I really do appreciate your words. As I was reading your comment, I was right there with you and your mother. Thanks for sharing those tender moments with me. Reading your memories has taught me to cherish every moment of my mother's life. Nothing is promised.

Five years ago, I thought for sure that my mother would have passed. But she is here with me. So, I try my best to do everything I can to make her happy. But the truth is that I could always do more. Thanks for reminding me of that.

God bless you, Francis.