a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto, Miinneapolis, MN

There’s something about being home that brings out my ranting side. I’ve been working on this, but usually, I get here and immediately begin stomping my feet – maybe it’s that inner child thing. So even on my first visit, I was going on about the perils of plastics in the hospital, about drought and lack of water in my “City of Lakes”, about the pollution from idling cars and so on. Normally, my tolerant family does their best to listen, but eventually I wear on them.

But my mom surprised me this visit and chimed right in. Sitting in her hospital room, one day after surgery, she was willing to be outraged – not about her cancer, but about Al Gore and his private jet! She agreed emphatically as I ranted on – we’ve got to change things before it’s too late. Here is where I sometimes go cynical on her – perhaps because my child-self was nothing if not dramatic – but I concluded, in a pout, that it was already too late – we couldn’t save the world.

“I don’t think it is too late”, she said, so quietly that I don’t think anyone heard her but me. (Of course, it was meant specifically for me.) This from a woman who is facing chemotherapy and surgery. This from a woman who lives within the comfort of a caring family and a 60-year marriage, who has no reason to get involved with these issues now, to start fighting outside of herself. So, if she says we can do it, I believe her. Thanks, mom, you gave me the courage to go on. I hope I can give you the same.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. gene lonsway Says:

    It is easy to forget that we “belong” somewhere. It’s easy to forget that we come from somewhere else and that we are forever linked to our individual pasts.

    Whatever else is true, whoever we become, or however rarely we think about it, we’re all part of something larger than our current day to day “adult” lives.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It reminded me that there is (or should be) more to my relationship with my family than an occasional card or phone call.

  2. phyllis diehl Says:

    i read your blog with a tear in my eye and a smile on my lips. the tear is for all that mom has to go through, the smile is for the support of a family that loves her…..congratulations tracey, you come for a mother who has courage and strength……………………….

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