Saturday was not a good day for me. I made the mistake of thinking something through in my mind, and then assuming it would be so.
It takes 30 minutes, at the most, to empty a half-yard of bark mulch from the back of Clint's truck onto the gardens in my yard, one wheelbarrow load at a time if everyone helps me. The day was overcast, it was noon, and everyone who wasn't me, was still in bed.
I asked each of them to give me a hand and I was ignored. I thought they'd respond more positively.
At 2 pm I took Clint's truck and got a scoop of mulch dropped into the back. I came home and repeated my request. The replies were loud and unpositive, but 2 out of 3 gave me a hand with attitude. When I asked those who had partied the day before to clean up the pop cans, chip bags, popcorn messes, etc, world war 3 broke out and everyone was mad because it was someone elses's mess. Angry voices yelled at each other and at me. It was not pretty.
At 4 pm I left to buy new headphones for my dad. And then I went to the garden centre to get a few more bedding plants. And then I went to Burger King to get my dad a Whopper. (Apparently he hasn't been eating his meals at the hospital. He secretly throws the food in the garbage and tries to cover it. The nurses were aware that he was doing this, and assumed we were bringing him food. We weren't... other than the apples and strawberries I'd been sharing with him as a night snack.)
I got to the Surrey Hilton around 6 and watched my dad inhale his whopper meal in 2 bites. Oy. Then I showed him his new headphones (wholly snot that man has a huge head. NO WAY they were going to fit going over his noggin - we had to wrap them over his ears from behind.)
While he settled, I organized my wallet and chatted with Maureen and Maude. (Maude is the East-Indian woman beside my dad. She sits in her chair with her back to the window, overseeing all that happens in her room.)
Maureen (the one that is bent in half) was scurrying around the room, trying to settle herself into Maude's bed.
Maude: This is my bed. Get over by your own bed.
Maureen: No, this is my bed tonight.
Maude: It most certainly is not. I slept here last night, and I'll sleep here again tonight.
Maureen: Why do you always get the good bed? Why can't I have a turn here? It's not fair.
Me: Here, Maureen, can I help you? See, these are your orange slippers, right here. This is where your things are. Here...
Maureen: Do you think I'm a child? I know where my bed is.
And she skootches her twisted body onto the edge of Maude's bed.
We talk about Maude's heart. She had a quintuple bypass 10 years ago, and now she's in the hospital because her blood pressure is dangerously high.
Maureen: My husband's heart was worn out. He died.
Me: When did he die?
Maureen: 12 years ago. He was a contractor. He worked all the time. He wore it out.
Me: So have you thought about getting married again?
Maureen: Why would I ever want to do that again?
Maude: I know. I never wanted to get married again either.
Maureen: I like my independence. Freedom. Why would I want to get tied down?
Maude: I have a dog that loves me. That's enough.
Maureen: I have 9 kids.
Maude: I'm a grandma. I like my life. Don't need no man.
I talk with them about their lives, their families.
I tell them I have 3 sons and that I didn't have a very good day.
Maude: You don't have any daughters?
Me: No. Just 3 boys.
Maureen: That's sad. A woman should have daughters.
Maude: Yeah. Daughters are good.
Me: Well, I'm counting on my boys marrying some awesome daughter-in-laws. I'm going to have the best daughters-in-law around.
Maureen: You can't. I have the best.
We moved on to talking about gardens and I told them I had some bedding plants in my truck. They wanted to know what kind. What colours. When I'd be planting them.
At 8:00, when the visiting-hours-are-over announcement was made, I thanked them for a good evening, kissed my dad goodbye (after putting in new movie and adjusting his headphones again) and packed up my things.
Maude: Have a good evening.
Maureen: Drive safe. She should drive safe, shouldn't she?
Maude: Yes, be careful. Drive safe.
I drove home safe and fell asleep on the couch.
This morning, Jule called me to tell me about her visit. "I walked in and dad had his DVD player on the loudest volume with his new headphones off. I quickly turned the volume down and Maude said, "It's about time! I've been trying to sleep!" I gave dad some breakfast, which he gobbled like he was starving and then I noticed Maureen. She was all hunched over on the edge of her bed, saying that she didn't like the program she was listening to on her TV. It was too depressing. And it really was... it was a World Vision commercial and they were going on and on about the plight of children around the world.
I asked her if I could help her change the channel and she said, no, she was trying to read the instructions on how to use the remote. She'd be fine if she could just figure out what it said. She had a water bottle pressed up close to her face and she was desperately trying to make sense of the label. I took the bottle from her and changed the channel with the remote.
About an hour later I noticed she was doing something with her makeup bag. She was resting her head on her kness with her face twisted to the side. Her nose was in her bag and she was rummaging through it. "Maureen? Is there something I can help you with?"
She replied, "Well, I'm trying to put my makeup on. Did I get my lipstick on my lips?" Jule bends down to get a look at her face. "Uh, no, you missed your lips. See, your lips are here, by your mouth. You've got lipstick way up here on your cheeks, by your eyes..."
Funny. But sad.
I went back to the hospital tonight, bringing dad (and mom, she was there too) each a ham and scalloped potato meal. Maureen seemed very disoriented and Maude wasn't very talkative.
Dad will probably be coming home tomorrow.
He's tired of watching his movies on that little machine. He's looking forward to sitting in his chair (he has laid in bed for 10 straight days) and watching his shows on the big TV. He wants to wear his jeans and have his belt on. The one with the turquoise buckle.
THANK YOU all for praying. He has bounced back from last week's emergency. And my mom is recovering from her bout with whatever it was that kept her down for the past week. Thank you Rudy and Marg for dropping off a meal at my mom's place. You guys ROCK. And a great big thanks to those of you who dropped by the hospital to check in on my dad.
Last week in church we were getting sermonized from James. And jokingly, Dave Curry, preacher for the weekend, suggested that if you find yourself being tested about the same thing, two or three times, your prayer should be, "Lord. Help me to learn the lesson You are trying to teach me. I don't want to go through this again and again."
This whole week felt like deja vu. Like we've been here before. Done this already. Was I supposed to learn something? And I didn't? Did my faith not grow? Did I not mature enough the first time? Is this maybe not all about me? Whaaaaat? I dunno.
All I know is, my dad is still around. Thank you for praying for him and the rest of my family.
Three things I'm thankful for:
3. Facebook Chat