As I get older, I’m becoming more aware that I’ll be a lunatic when I hit my sixties. How do I know this as fact? Well, my Mom and all my friend’s mothers are complete whack jobs in their sixties and my generation has eaten far more processed foods, been a million times more stressed, slept less, and done many more drugs, so in actuality we will probably be even crazier than they are in around twenty years.
Now, this should make me a more sympathetic person to the aging mothers in my life, but quite the opposite. I strive to make them even more insane and bewildered. Let me give you a great example…
I have a friend who made the HUGE mistake of dragging along her sixty-something mother on a vacation to the beach. On the first day, they decide to tour a fort that was on an island they were going to hang out on for the day. It was a gorgeous day and the fort was on the way to the other side of the island where they would lounge all day long on the beach, swimming and collecting seashells with the kids. Sounds marvelous, right? Well, old Mom took a tumble down the stairs in the fort tower and broke her femur (she tells everyone she broke her “FEMA” and they stare at her wondering why this woman needed FEMA assistance and how in the world she broke them). An emergency Coast Guard rescue from the island, surgery to place a rod in her leg, an extended vacation in a hospital room nowhere near the beach, not to mention a blown budget and you have a really craptastic vacation spent with good old Mom. Yay!
After a grueling car trip home with doped up Mom and two kids who were wishing they had been born into another family, my friend made it home in one piece. Her main goal was to just get her mom home and things would be so much easier. Wrong! Mom’s a widow with no one to look out for her so my friend and her children took shifts watching over her because she was on a walker and had to have someone follow her around on it. Not to mention, help give her baths, fix her food, do her laundry and various other household tasks, shop for her groceries, get more pain meds from the pharmacy, take her to follow-up doctor appointments and take her to physical therapy three days a week. That hospital stay seemed like a spa week at this rate.
Here’s where I come in…
Being such a kind and generous human being, and hearing that her Mom was having horrible hallucinations on a certain pain medication, I ran right over to bring dinner for them all just so I could witness and perhaps help out with this hallucination problem (aka make her feel like she’s crazier than she really is or at least join in on the fun).
It didn’t take long. She opened up her box of food I had brought in and started chowing. About halfway through, she froze, staring off across the living room floor.
“Do you see that rat sitting over there in the corner?” she whispered.
This was the chance I had been waiting for!
“Yes, yes, I see it! Where do you keep your broom, Gertrude (I have changed her name to protect her innocence)?” I shouted.
Both of the kids immediately left the room covering the giggling noises coming from their mouths.
“In the kitchen…there’s a cabinet to the left of the refrigerator. Please hurry…it’s sitting over there smiling at me,” she responded.
“Nothing worse than a cocky rat. I’ll beat that smile right off his face!” I replied.
I ran off to the kitchen and grabbed the broom. I took confident strides back into the living room, ready to smash me an invisible rat (I would like to admit at this point, had it been a real rat, I would have left the premises upon first sight). I stood in the corner and beat her carpet with that broom until she screamed, “You got him! You killed that rat! Thank you so much!”
This was the most fun I’d had in a long time. I was someone’s hero for doing absolutely nothing. As I returned to my chair, my friend rolled her eyes at me and mouthed, “STOP IT.”
I stayed a little longer and Gertrude looks at me and says, “Can you turn on the Foxfire?”
“I don’t know what I did with that thingie. Can you turn on the Foxfire for me? And Bessie, (my friend’s name has also been changed to protect her innocence), could you please bring me some Ibupropaline?”
I look over at my friend who was cracking up and she hands me the remote to an Amazon Firestick and says, “Yeah, turn on the “Foxfire” for her while I go get her some
“Ibupropaline”. I flipped on the TV and followed my friend into the other room. I had to ask…
“Why’d she change the names? Is it the pain medication causing this?”
“Oh no, she calls them that when she’s completely sober. Just something she started doing a couple of years ago.”
Good grief. I might as well start making payments on my padded room at the old folks’ home. I’ll make sure to pick a place that has plenty of Ibupropaline because as my Mom says to me, “Growing old is painful and you, my dear, are too much of a wimp.”