Ma and I are down to one semi-peaceful morning of getting her out of bed during the week. The other four, anything goes; lying, pleading, pulling off sheets, tugging on legs, threats in two different languages.
Yesterday, I had one nerve left and my mother danced all over it. I went from zero to sixty by the time I said good morning and she grunted. My voice rose to an unpleasant pitch and my mother’s came chasing right after it.
I tell you I don’t know what put the thought in my mind. Perhaps God glanced my way, looked long enough to see I had very little left by way of sanity, took pity on me and threw me the inspiration.
“Ma, this is all your fault you know.” I said calmly.
The one eye I could see from under the covers popped open and narrowed.
“What’s my fault?”
“The way I am. What I’m doing right now.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You took care of Grandpa when he was sick. You and Aunt Syl cared for him at home, giving him the best you both had, making sure he was as healthy as he could be.”
“And Aunt Connie did the same for Grandma.”
Her bald head popped out from under the covers, and she stared at me trying to find the angle, but she couldn’t argue with the facts as I presented them.
Keep going…I thought…don’t lose momentum.
“Well, I grew up seeing that. And now I am the way I am because of it. Because of YOU.”
Oh beautiful. More...
“Let’s say you knew Grandpa's health would decline faster by NOT getting him out of bed. Would you leave him there?”
“Then what do you expect me to do?”
I waited a beat for dramatic affect and added a dash of self-pity to my timbre. “It’s like I have no choice.”
She emerged from the covers, exposing her zebra nightgown and those gorgeous legs.
“Yeah, yeah, alright. I get it,” she said, traces of false anger in her voice. “Help me out of this bed will you please?”
As we walked to the bathroom I thought, Can I squeeze a shower out of this? Or would that be pressing my luck?
I decided to not even try it. But I sure would use this tact again, happily and shamelessly.
Keep them coming God!