Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Sick, The Saved and the Shorn

It’s been a while since we checked in for a story, so let’s just go stream of consciousness and get up to date, shall we? Let’s start with an update on The Sick Person. Since February 4th, our days have been dominated by the necessity to manage the affairs of a person in the family who has been injured/ ill. Because he has no concept that he’s being written about in this forum, I’ve not identified him.

He’s been out of the nursing home for almost two weeks now, and our goal is still to get him back into his house. For now, and for an indeterminate interval, he’s staying at my father’s house and is living in my old bedroom. He’s been significantly impacted by a closed-head injury and we’re not so sure anymore that he will recover sufficiently to live on his own. My father, who will turn 86 in a couple of months, is determined to give him a fighting chance; and you have to respect that. With reluctance to reveal a lot of details, let’s just say there have been a few good days but many more days which nudge us toward surrendering hope.

What’s next? Who knows, but I fear the responsibility of decision-making will be daunting. It’s something to dread, rest assured.

Many times over the last few days, people have asked if our daughter came home for Easter. No, she didn’t. I did get a text message from her Sunday afternoon that said, “I celebrated Easter with monks, Dad! Monks!” Yes, she dressed up and went to Mass with a Roman Catholic friend, which pleases me immensely.

The family took her to brunch at a Fancy Dallas Hotel, which certainly was more exciting than kabobs at the house with Mommy and Daddy. We’re happy for her, but we missed her.

Her brother showed up and somewhere along the way announced his intention to “clean up a little.” As close observers no doubt realize, he has alternated for years between something like scruffy, hippie, unkempt, fuzzy, etc. I’m not great with it, but I’m okay with it. He’s young and has the rest of his life to be button-down. Or not. In fact, I’ve said to him many times, “grow it while you’ve got it, because you won’t have it that much longer. He made good on his pledge, thought, so here he is. That’s a nice looking kid, wouldn’t you agree?

There are no real adventures to report. Aside from spending part of essentially every day tending to the needs of the aged and infirm, the most exciting thing to happen over the last couple of weeks has been the annual planting of my tomatoes. I’m watering them and watching them grow. I gotta bust loose. I’m going a little crazy over here.

One more random story which illustrates the kind of thing that’s occupying us involving The Sick Person, which also illuminates my wife’s sainthood: One afternoon, I asked her to run a quick errand at The Sick person’s house. It should have taken five minutes. She walked in and discovered an overwhelming, sickening odor. His freezer, which was full of meat, had stopped working. Everything was thawed and ruined. She spent hours doing disgusting duty…bagging up rancid meat. I don’t know how she did it. But it’s always something around here these days and sadly…rarely is it something fun.

We’re being like bull riders, though…just trying to hang on eight seconds at a time.

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