Am I Dead Yet?

Mom decided to start using her pink 4-wheel walker again after an almost two month hiatus.  Since her fall in September, when she fractured her left arm, I’ve been her main means of transportation, pushing her in a wheelchair from the bedroom to the bathroom and then to the living room and then back to the bathroom and back to the living room, then to the bedroom for her nap, then back to the living room, then back to the… well, you get the picture.  Back and forth, back and forth, all day long.  It has evolved into a rather humdrum, symbiotic relationship over the past five months.

Last November, Mom decided she wanted to try using her walker again.  She practiced a couple of times during the afternoon with me hovering closely behind her before it tired her out.  This first attempt at mobility lasted a day and a half before she topple over in her bedroom.  She was unscathed but we put the walker away.

Her second attempt came after Christmas and it also lasted a day and a half before she took another injury-free tumble, so we put the walker back into storage.

Her third try was last week, and it lasted two and a half days before she went down on her well-padded backside at the hairdresser’s where I had taken her for her quarterly cut and perm.  She wasn’t hurt, but when we got her home, the pink monster went into permanent retirement in the garage.

Later in the afternoon it was time to relax on the sun porch with an adult beverage before Bill started stir-frying a batch of cashew chicken for dinner.

“I’m going to Hell,” I informed him after I took a sip of my rum and Coke.

“Why’s that?” he asked.

“Because I can’t help thinking that, somehow, subconsciously, Mom keeps falling over because she likes getting pushed everywhere in that damn wheelchair.  She really loves getting waited on but she thinks she needs to at least give the appearance of wanting to be independent,” I sighed.

“So, you think you’re going to Hell because you’re not being more compassionate and you’re questioning her motives?”

“Yes, that’s it exactly,” I answered, taking another sip.

“Well, what makes you think you’re not already in Hell?” he said, lowering his voice an octave and trying to sound mysterious.

“Because… ummm, I haven’t died yet?” I replied skeptically.

“What makes you think you’d even remember that you died?” he asked, swirling ice cubes around in his half full glass.

“So, your theory is when you die, you don’t really remember that you did so you don’t know you’re dead?  How could that be?”

“It only applies if you go to Hell because it’s part of being in Hell,” he answered, trying to arch an eyebrow to appear both wise and philosophical.  He only managed to look startled since both eyebrows shot up towards his hairline in unison and his glasses slipped down and balanced precariously on the end of his nose.

“Think about it,” he continued, pushing his glasses back up his nose.  “One day we lived in our dream house in Idaho.  There was green grass and shade trees and four real seasons.  The people were friendly and polite and they actually drove the speed limit and didn’t try to cut you off on the freeway.  You could go trout fishing off a bridge in downtown Boise and the police stopped traffic for baby ducks.  The next day we lived in Sun City with nothing but sand and rocks and Haboobs and cactus with pickers the size of bayonets.  Not to mention rabbits that eat anything that isn’t nailed down, roof rats that eat the stuff that is nailed down, and old people that will run you over with a golf cart or a Cadillac and never once stop to say they’re sorry.  And don’t even get me started on the summer temperatures that make you feel like you’re living inside a freaking furnace.”

“Oh.  My.  God!  We’re in Hell,” I gasped.

“My point exactly!” he said, draining his glass.

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