My brothers to the South, who have put in the most time tending our Parental Units in their ongoing decay, wanted the brothers to the North to transport our mother to the memorial service for our defunct dad. We were happy to do it but troubled because our mother has a game leg and weighs a good bit. We didn’t know if we could get her in one of our cars or not. We made various jokes about perhaps needing a hoist or a fork lift…
I should read the psychoanalyst who wrote about body armor. Our mother has relatively little weight in the upper area and below the waist she expands enormously both to the sides and to the rear. When she had the stroke that gave her the game leg, she was in a rest up place, hospital sort of place; and well, we wanted her to stay there while the rest of us gathered for a so-called holiday meeting at my parent’s house. I swear I had talked the social worker into not letting her out.
But there she was having manipulated the doctors some how and having roped my nephew in going to get her. They had a Ford Bronco at that time, and my mother was suspended up there some distance from the ground. We set up the wheelchair by the door and tried to lower her into it. I will never forget the look of horror on my nephew’s face when for a second, as I tried to pry lose her game leg which had gotten stuck, her weigh shifted entirely to him. But thank goodness we had placed the wheelchair well and wham she landed in it.
Later in the miserable evening, I am minding my own business when I hear, “Nick! Nick! Nick!” My father is yelling for me for no apparent reason just like back in the good old days. He is in the bathroom. When I opened the door I see him more or less seated on the floor, his head sticking up above my mother’s buttocks which are pinning him to the floor. Apparently, he had been trying to get her on the toilet and her weight had unfortunately shifted. He is cursing up a storm, “Goddammotherfunckingsonofabitch,” over and over.
Fortunately my mother had some strength in her arms; correcting the situation wasn’t a matter of lifting all that dead weight but merely a matter of shifting it so it would tip in the other direction. I applied myself directly to the naked expanse of her buttocks, her drawers having been previously dropped in anticipation of relieving herself. I must say I had never seen her buttocks so up close and personal before. Looking left and right all I could see it seemed was mountainous buttock.
I succeeded in my effort. She momentarily stood up and swung herself on the pot with a crash. I left with my father still on the floor cursing.
A Kodak moment from hell, I suppose.