Saturday, July 7, 2012

There has to be a better definition of 'okay'

My mom had surgery last week. She spent a few days in the hospital. BJ went with me to visit her.
As we left, he had a good chuckle. He says I am just like my mom. Or my mom is just like me.

This is how the conversation went:

Me: Are you in pain?What hurts?
Mom: Yeah, but I'm okay. (weak and unconvincing smile)
Me: You're in pain, that means you're not okay.
Mom: No. I'm okay. I'm not dead, and death is not imminent... so I'm okay.
(BJ burst out laughing at this point)
Me: There has to be a better definition of okay... (and then I realized WHY BJ was laughing, so I stopped talking for a second.) I want to know if you're in pain. I can SEE that you're not dead, but I care about you, so I want to know how you are doing... So, the proper response would be, "Hell yes, I am in pain! I just had my insides ripped out!"
Mom: Fine. I hurt. And I feel CRAPPY! Ok?

Ok. I get it. I just got schooled.

What I just said to my mom is exactly what other people have said to me. (Including BJ.)
I want my mom to talk more about what she's going through... maybe other people feel the same way towards me. (Okay. Not maybe. They've said they want more... I just had a hard time believing them.)


  1. I think okay is the answer that means for me: I am not really sure you care enough to hear me out, so I am okay.

  2. I find myself doing that all the time - it is very hard to admit weaknesses sometimes. Especially to people that either look up to you (such as a mother to her daughter) or to people that are just acquaintances.

    After my accident, when everyone kept expecting me to be magically normal again, I really found myself pasting a fake smile on my face and saying that I was "OK". And I looked normal, although I was a quivering wreck and I was having lingering effects from the concussion. When I went in to tell the head of my department that I had to withdraw from grad school due to all of my anxiety, he looked at me and asked "What, are you brain-damaged?" He couldn't comprehend that the soul could get damaged from a traumatic event. That is one person that I will never be able to fully communicate with - when I see him again, I will probably have to just say I'm "OK" and change the subject!

    Sorry this is so rambling.

  3. Sometimes it just means not great, not horrible, just okay. And sometimes its just the only answer that comes in to my head-especially when my guts have just been ripped out and then I've been drugged to make me feel even more miserable... love you, next time you will get a more definite answer, okay?