One of my favorite stories to tell about Mom should not be at all humorous or entertaining but, to me anyway, it is. It is also a glimpse into the psyche of this complicated woman.
I should start with a disclaimer. Obviously, anytime someone is threatening to kill themselves, it should be taken as a serious cry for help. However, at times, the manner in which they intend to “off themselves” is so poorly planned, you can’t take it seriously.
Mom had left a note that she was going to kill herself. Now, this was not a terribly uncommon event but I still was worried. It was early afternoon and I had just come home from school when I read the note. Because her car was outside, I figured maybe she had taken some pills, again, and was in the bedroom. Except she wasn’t. In fact, I could not find her anywhere.
It was the middle of winter so I thought maybe she went outside after taking the pills to freeze to death. Again, kind of a silly way to go about it but with Sue, you just never knew. I took a quick stroll around our trailer which was situated on a huge plot of land. It was so cold, that I pretty quickly went back inside after my search came up empty.
I had just taken off my coat and was preparing to call some relatives when Mom walked in the front door. She looked cold but otherwise seemed coherent. I told her that I had read her note and I didn’t understand what was happening. She looked at me with despair over her face and said, “I tried to kill myself but I couldn’t”.
When I told her I knew she didn’t have it in her, she said that is not what she meant. She said, “Oh, I fully intended to do it. I was going to drown myself. But when I got to the lake, it was frozen too hard for me to get in the water”. This, in a nutshell, was my life. Pitiful, comical, melodramatic, and never terribly well thought out.