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Sunday, March 22, 2015

I didn't know.......

Some events are hard to put in to words and some posts are very difficult for me to relive as I tell our story.  Please be patient as I struggle to spare you some of my very raw emotions.

For those of you just tuning in and wondering what I am rambling about, I hope you will read my earlier posts and catch up with our story.
For those of you who have been along for the whole wild ride, thanks for hanging with me!
I would very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.....it helps to know someone is out there!


I didn't know........

 Do you ever watch those TV shows where they have actors play out an injustice and capture the responses of unsuspecting bystanders?  I love those shows, but they always make my blood pressure rise and my heart palpitate watching the injustice play out.  Even though I know it’s JUST a show, it makes me angry when people are not treated fairly and even angrier when the bystanders are taking a “let’s not get involved” position.  How can anyone justify just sitting or standing there when someone is beating his wife; discriminating against anyone; stealing; harassing; or anything that would inflict pain (of any kind) on another person?

While I do love those shows, I also hate them.  I hate that we live in a world that people are selfish; unkind; hateful; and just downright mean.  I hate that we have tolerated this horrible behavior for so long that there even IS a show about it.  But, every once in a while, my faith in mankind is restored when someone intervenes and stands up for what’s right, regardless of the consequences.

So, with my propensity for decency and fairness, you might find it odd that the following scenario made me laugh until my sides hurt.  Picture this:

On the evening of August 31, 2013, two ladies, obviously related, are making their way to the front entrance of the hospital where my mother was recuperating from surgery.  The younger of the two is struggling and begging for help, as she manually propels her wheelchair across the sloping parking lot; she was clearly struggling to steer in the right direction.  Although there were many onlookers, only one gentleman offered his assistance to the young lady while shooting a very disgusted look at the older woman walking ahead and seemingly ignoring the desperate cries for help from this poor girl in the wheelchair.  The young woman politely declined his assistance and told him that her “sister” was right ahead of her and could help.  The gentleman stood looking outraged and expectant as the older sister walked on without even a glance back; he continued to watch as the younger sister continued to struggle and cry out for her sisters’ help.  I can only assume, given the opportunity, that this gallant gentleman would have helped the young lady to whatever her destination was without regard to his own scheduled needs.  God bless him!  The world needs more people like him.  I didn't personally witness this scenario, but I heard about it.

The commotion down the hall from my mother’s hospital room was hard not to hear; stern scolding followed by hearty laughter echoed through the hall.  I looked toward the nurses that were helping my mother out of bed just hours after major surgery; they looked at each other.  I think we were all wondering the same thing, “What is going on out there”?  Curiosity got the best of me and I stepped out in to the hallway; the stern voice and laughter were getting closer and sounded like they were coming from the next hallway.  I had a fleeting thought of being a super detective (an Agent 99 kind of detective, but still) I looked both directions before slowly making my way toward the corner; they might not come this way and by now I was too curious to not find out what was going on.

I was almost to the corner when the voice grew louder and I began to quickly retreat; I didn't want them to catch me “trying” to spy on them.  “I can’t believe you did that to me”, followed by hysterical laughter wafting down the hall.  WAIT!  I recognized the voice and the laughter and turned back around just in time to see “the sisters” from the parking lot incident with the older sister walking briskly in front and the younger sister trying to keep up; the wheelchair was clearly out of alignment and kept banging her in to the wall.

Those “sisters” were MINE! The wheelchair was my mother’s that they were delivering to her room……….that poor man in the parking lot had just been punked!  Mom made an attempt to act mortified that her daughters would do such a thing; she failed……….she couldn't help but laugh.  And, like I said, I laughed so hard my sides ached and tears streamed down my face as I conjured up the mental image of the story they told.  I didn't know how long it had been since I had laughed that hard; and wondered absently how long it would be before I would again.  I didn't know why, regardless of the silliness or absurdity, my siblings always made me laugh.

What I did know was that my brother would be leaving right after he tried to fix the wheelchair alignment and help me sort six weeks of news papers in order to retrieve and date order puzzles for mom; my sisters would be returning to their homes and lives the following day.  I did know that I would miss the comic relief as much as I would miss the brief respite I got from the caregiver role when they were able to be there to fill in.  It seems                                       like I didn't know much.

I didn't know how long it would be before I was able to make the five hour journey to take mom home; I didn't know when they were going to attempt to put a joint back in moms knee; I didn't know if they would ever be able to completely rid the infections that were continually attacking my mother; I didn't know when (or if) I would ever return to my home; I didn't know if mom would be able to continue to live in her home (with my assistance) when/if I did get her home.  I just didn't know.

I also didn't know how dark the days ahead would become, or how many times I would need to revisit the images of my sisters and the wheelchair shenanigans so I could muster a smile when all I wanted to do was cry.  I didn't know how many times I would need to draw on those fond memories of my siblings in order to keep my sanity as I weathered the storms to come.


At that point, I didn't know a lot more than I did know..................I just didn't know.

2 comments:

Alana said...

I am in the beginning stages of a caretaking journey - my mother in law (who is 87) and a developmentally disabled brother in law (my husband is his guardian) I know, intellectually, that I can not imagine much of what is going to happen in the future. We (and they) have been lucky so far but I fear that will be changing soon.

K. Lee Banks said...

Oh my! What a story! And I'm currently blogging and reflecting on an event from 30 years ago - so I can relate to that "not knowing at the time" when something happens...and the difficulty of reliving some experiences.