I know, I know. It’s been over a week. The murmurs of complaint have begun to trickle in. The thing is, I have some great stories from this week, but I just haven’t had time to put them out. Even this posting will lack the “polishing” that I like to give my stories, but maybe some of you can enjoy it anyway!
The other day, I took My Sweet Mama to Cambridge for her yearly endoscopy. It is a trip that neither of us like very much, but are always glad when it is over. This year, we had the best news yet. “I really don’t see any need in dragging her over here so often,” said Dr. Moran. “She’s doing wonderfully, and I think you can easily wait two years for your next visit!”
WHEW! What an incredible relief, not only to Mama, but to all of us. I was tickled beyond relieved, and Mama and I were both rejoicing as we aimed our car towards home. Problem was, about ten miles out, a tractor trailer pulled out in front of me and if I hadn’t slammed on the brakes, I would have hit him “right in the middle of his daily duty!” (To quote an old Laurel and Hardy Movie line) But I digress. Anyhow, the old geezer pulled out in front of me, and I was without my trusty GPS, so I was trying to read my google driving directions backward and took a wrong turn. It didn’t look right, exactly, but Mama and I were chatting and the next thing I knew, I was desperately lost. I drove and drove and finally saw a sign that said, “To Route 50” and that sounded vaguely familiar, so I went happily along until I came to a parting of the ways. One of the directions went to Salisbury. One went to Cambridge. I had just been in Cambridge, some 30 minutes or so before, so I didn’t want to go there. Right? So I turned to Salisbury. Wrong! I drove and drove and drove. There began to be tidal waters of some sort, and a long, lonely bridge.
Mama, ever trusting and trying to see the best of it, spoke of beautiful scenery and nice houses. I worried, but tried to make light of the sinking feeling in my stomach. Eventually there came a sign that said, “Salisbury: 15 miles. Okay. This was all wrong. I found an opening and made a U-turn. And drove and drove and drove and drove until I was almost back to Cambridge. You would think they would put some gas stations along there where a gal could stop and ask directions, but NO! Just miles and miles of nothingness. I kid you not. So eventually I got back to the outskirts of Cambridge where I could get route 16 and that took me to the road I wanted, which brought me back to the very crossroads where I made the fateful turn, which I was able to get safely through to the other side without yielding to the turn (which pulled me with all its might, because after all we had been through together, looked familiar!). And so, we came on home.
When I called Certain Man to complain of my great miscalculations and misdeeds, he laughed! And said, “You might just as well have gone on and come home by Route 13. That would have been a whole lot quicker!”
“I know that now,” I wailed, “but I kept thinking the way out would be right around the next corner, until suddenly I was all the way back to Cambridge!” And of course, he laughed again.
And then I called Middle Daughter, whom had been informed that I would “be home shortly” just before I made the wrong turn, and she had the audacity to say, “Mom, you would have gotten home sooner if you had just gone on to Salisbury and come home on 13!”
“Daniel Yutzy, Junior,” I said with feeling. “That’s exactly what your Daddy said. I know that now. But I didn’t then!” And of course, I had to blame her just a little because she has commandeered the GPS for her Hospice Nursing calls, and I just didn’t feel like fetching it out as I was leaving home when I’ve been to Dorchester General Hospital five or six times over the last five years. I had my Google driving directions, and any simpleton should be able to follow them backwards to get herself home again. Right. Anyhow. I didn’t have trouble with being sleepy on that particular journey.
But the day was actually redeemed by a happening in the waiting room on the third floor. And that story went like this:
Mama and I rode the elevator up to day surgery and she was taken right back to prepare for surgery. Just ahead of her was a Downs Syndrome girlie, who appeared unable to speak. She was there with her mother who was very elderly, had a walker, and didn’t seem to be following things very well. She also had an aide of some sort that was helping her and bringing her mom along as best she could. They called me back after Mama was prepped, and I heard some of the exchanges in the bed that held the girlie with Downs Syndrome, and it appeared that she was doing pretty well in spite of having some anxiety over the needles and preparatory procedures.
After Mama and girlie had gone back for surgery, we were all waiting there in the room until the doctors came out to speak to us. There were quite a few people in the waiting room. Some were quietly sitting, others were engaged in animated conversation, some were reading. Believe me, it was the usual motley crew and I learned some things that I would have just as soon not heard. There was a pair of guys talking, both probably my age or so, who were about as typical “redneck” as you could find. I read awhile, and then looked up to see the doctor for the Downs Syndrome girlie come out to talk to her mama. He said that things were going well, and that the girlie was getting awake and that there were no surprises, he expected that she would soon be good as new, etc. The mother asked a few confused questions and then the doctor left.
Another gal across the room who also looked a little bit challenged said to the mother, “What sort of procedure did your daughter have done?”
“A D&C,” said the mother. (For the unlearned, “female problems.”) The mother started talking to the aide, then, voicing concern about the girl and wondering why it was taking so long to wake up.
“She’s okay,” the aide reassured her. “The doctor said that she was doing okay, and she’s getting awake. She’ll be fine.”
The mother continued to voice worrying thoughts. She seemed concerned about whether the daughter was going to be traumatized by the events of the day, and the aide continued to comfort her, and reiterated that she thought the girlie was going to be okay.
Across the room, taking this all in, was one of the older fellows. Gray hair was sticking out below his baseball cap, and a beard bedecked his pleasant face. He had on jeans. His friend had left to take someone home, and he had been viewing the waiting room like he was looking for a chance at another interesting conversation. He jumped in with both feet.
“She’ll be okay,” he said, smiling at the old woman. “T’ain’t nothin’ to it, really. I had that same procedure yesterday, and I don’t remember a thing. Last thing I remember was signin’ my name on the dotted line, and then I got awake, and I was passin’ gas — ” he laughed a little uncomfortably, and said, “(Ya’ know, they want you to do that before they let you go) and that was all there was to it. She’ll be okay. She won’t remember a thing!”
I did NOT laugh.
I promise you, I did not laugh.
At least, not then.
Okay, I might have smiled behind my magazine. And I’ve gotten some mileage out of it since then, but I didn’t laugh then at the poor misguided fellow.