Phoning Home

An excerpt from the Talk with Mom series.

I was recently talking to my seventy-something year-old mother on FaceTime. She told me about a recent incident where her dog was barking without an obvious prompt. My mother was concerned about whether the dog was barking at a ghost. I replied, “In your seventy-plus years of existence, have you ever seen a ghost?” She said she hadn’t. I said, “So in all these years, ghosts have been biding their time, plotting and waiting to finally reveal themselves to you when you reached your seventies?”

I continued, “Not one of your nefarious imaginings has ever come true, not once in all the seventy years you’ve seen, has it?” She admitted that not one had come true. “Aha!”, I concluded, “then in fact, you’ve been needlessly scaring yourself all these years by entertaining frightful thoughts of doom?” What could she say, she was stumped. She seemed to tentatively admit the veracity of my claim, yet I knew the argument was won.

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