I met a fellow the other day at the new post office...a sort of gathering place for all of the folks in the 150. New faces are becoming the norm these days, as more and more people from the South and elsewhere take advantage of lower property prices here.
Since mine was a "new face", so to speak, and he was obviously an old timer who knew everybody but not me...he wandered over to where I was attempting to add a copy of the Newspaper to my already piled pieces of mail in my arms. I ended up dropping the mail and he ended up by helping me retrieve the scattered pieces.
He thereby read my name on the letters, with absolutely no shame. But he was convivial and introduced himself, telling me he had arthritis, too. He got it from his mother, he told me. She'd been bedridden with a twisted body at the end of her life, and she had told him then he would get it.
And so he did.
However, he told me, he never forgot her on Mother's Day. If he forgot that day, he said, she might pile something even worse on him. So he always took flowers to her grave.
This seemed like an in depth kind of conversation with a virtual stranger, but people are like that here. I have heard many histories of people and their families, from individuals I will possibly never connect to again.
I tried to explain to him that although genetics play a large part in the arthritic, his mother didn't "give" it to him, as she might a flu virus.
He said I didn't know his mother.
We wandered to the car, talking of this and that...the weather, mostly, and his hay crop. After he had satisfied his curiosity as to what kind of vehicle I might be driving, he got into his truck and drove off, happy to have some news to share with his wife about a new arrival in the 150.
And, of course, I pondered on the conversation, as I drove home.
It is Tick season, here in the Cariboo. They were not really prevalent, in my experience, on the Coast...I never saw a Tick until I went to the prairies.
Rather suddenly, I find I have an aversion to walking through the bush. This is not normal for me, I have no fear of clutching vegetation and rotting logs. But, I discover, I do have a fear for what is awaiting my energy signature on those plants that brush against my body. I do have a rather unreasonable fear of Ticks.
I've researched them. I've talked with people who have had experience with Ticks, and I tell myself they are still here to tell the tale. I read that Ticks fall off the host, after they've satiated themselves. Admittedly, some species can leave behind diseases, like Lyme Disease and paralysis and some that can kill, but this is not common here, in this area, according to the information I've read.
The man's story jogged my memory. I was very young when my mother pointed out the bushes and grasses on our homeplace which, in her opinion, were loaded with Ticks. I was not to go in amongst Grasses and Ferns and Bushes because then I would come home with Ticks. She was not going to remove the Tick, she told me with a shudder, she just couldn't.
I didn't explore our territory, that year. If my mother wasn't going to take a Tick out of my body, who was? These Ticks must be horrendous, real monsters. In my imaginative little brain, I conjured up an image of a bloated ball of blood attached to my shrinking body...
And my mother's fear and belief became my own.
This made me wonder. All those fears or beliefs I had when I was a young mother...how many of those did I pass along to my children?
Quite possibly, all of them. I know my daughter sees through the Forested Jungle of Tangled Beliefs with which she and her sister grew up, finding her own wisdom...and passing a better way on to my grandchildren. I know it everytime we talk.
This is the way it is between mothers and their children.
Just by a chance meeting, I discovered where my horror with the lowly Tick had originated. The illogical part of the fear has lessened, quite considerably, although I won't go searching one out. But I have stopped the hypersensitive itching which occurred, every time I walked outside.
And I still think they're creepy little creatures.
My mother, who passed on last summer, probably had a hand in orchestrating the whole chance meeting...and to her, I send a very special Mother's Day Greeting.
And to all Mothers, have a very joyous Day!