Protective Me

I was always feeling so protective of Mom. There were so many instances where she would endure human mistakes with, well, just a bit too much understanding. Full of the fires of youth, I often appointed myself her protective guardian, when in fact it was the other way around.

One such time was when we were at Knotts Berry Farm in the early ’90’s. It was the era when gangs would flock into Knotts, representing the various fractions of Buena Park. They’d often walk side by side, and if you did not move, you might be pushed aside. I was on high alert that day. If any group came close, I’d link arms with Mom and steer this way or that. Mom was only in her early 60’s, but her frail body and bones worried me.

That day, though, it wasn’t the tougher side of Buena Park we needed have concerned ourselves with, it was the more maternal segment of society. As we walked down the wide sidewalks planning our route, I’d scanned behind me and noted we were okay. Only a Mom with a few kids paced closer. Looking at the map Mom was holding, I gestured to something that looked fun. Just then, and at once, I heard the stroller wheels as I saw Mom crumple backwards over the stroller and onto the pavement. I screamed.

“Mom!!! Are you okay???” I was hysterical. When Mom had been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I had read stacks of books. I knew that once a hip was broken, a person would often die within six months.

Examining the heel of her hand, Mom pushed herself toward standing. The woman assailant looked almost unperturbed, looking forward as if we were an inconvenience in her day!

“I think so, Honey,” Mom answered me, getting up.

I looked at the women, tempted to size her up and take her down. I was MAD. No, not mad… furious.

“What did you think you were doing?! This is my Mom! You ran over my Mom!” I yelled at her.

“Oh, sorry,” the women was practically examining her nail polish. She was THAT unconcerned.

“Honey, just let it go,” Mom told me. Then she looked at the woman and politely articulated, “Next time look where you’re going. The next person you run over might be seriously hurt. That’s a stroller not a battering ram.”

The woman mumbled she was sorry once more, and hurried on.

After the woman was out of hearing range, Mom added, “fat ass.”

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