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A little bit of slapstick

So, yesterday, my brother came in to town for a quick visit to see our Mum. Of course, it AMAZES me — when he walks through the door of the hospital room it’s like a combo of George Clooney, mile-high chocolate cake, and Jesus has rolled into one has waltzed on air into the room instead of my regular, old, human brother. My Mom breaks into tears: “Oh!” “Ah!” “You made it!” “I’m so glad you’re here!” Tears flow harder. Small smiles (in too much pain to smile BIG) come.

Sheesh. What am I? Chopped liver? I’ve been there all day and she just kind of puts up with me….

Well, anyway, of course I tried to steal his thunder by cheering my Mom up with drawings of little cats, “Who’s this, Mom?” on the little erasable board on the wall. Then I try telling jokes, but she was having none of that … eyes — and ears — only for her son!


Then! The guy that comes around with food brought my Mom’s food tray into the room, piled high with lots of stuff — meat loaf, mashed taters, bread, dessert. He sets it down and starts to leave and I say “Whoa, my Mom’s not supposed to have any food.” (See? More evidence that I’m the “good” daughter who’s been there all day paying attention to what the doctor’s said.) The young guy says, “Oh, yes, she is. It’s written right here on these orders.” “Um, no,” I say. “When I spoke the doctor about a hundred hours ago, he said no food at all, only liquids.”

Well, we went around a couple of times and finally he went to check, and came back and said, “Oh, you’re right. Only liquids.” And plopped down in her place a jello, some soup. Which of course she did not want.

So, any way, my brother pipes up and says he’ll eat the other tray — the one piled high. I’m thinking he’s crazy, but food does sound good. Even hospital food. I haven’t eaten all day and neither has he — he’s been traveling. But I’ve been in a waiting room most of the time, slogging bags around, and waiting to be taken to different places and following my Mom’s hospital bed around the long, long corridors of the hospital ad infinitum. And trying to look good at the same time (all those doctors and medical experts to flirt with, you know) and I’m kind of starving, actually, I realize.

So, my brother starts chowing on the “real” food dinner and gestures to me with his mouth full and his hand on the only roll, “Come on, don’t you want some?” But before I can even answer a sarcastic, “Um, what haven’t you put your greasy paws on yet?” My Mom snaps to attention and says to my brother, “No! You eat it, honey! You must be starving!”

Good grief.

Of course, my brother bursts out laughing. But I have to ply my eternal complaint that she loves him WAY more than me: “Yup, that’s right. Let MC starve but don’t let the golden boy’s stomach growl.”

Grrrrrrrr. Sibling rivalry? Nah…..

So, he chows down. The nurse gives my Mom something that makes her feel G-R-E-A-T but also sleepy. She’s falls asleep and my brother and I make a run for it.

We drive like banshees over to a store where we know she’s been eying a particular dining room table. We rush in right before it closes (seven minutes to spare) and find the table she wants, pay for it (halvsies), get it into the back of his truck, rush back to her house, tear open the packaging, finagle the thing together, move the other table out, clean up all the packaging (hid eit in the back yard so she won’t see any hints of what we’ve done when she comes home from the hospital) and voila — it looks gorgeous!!

My brother — I love him despite my jealousy — had to leave to go back to his family, so after trying to give him all the groceries in my Mom’s fridge and telling him a gazilion times to drive carefully, and call me when he gets back, no matter how late, I ended up going back to the hospital to sit with Mum for a while.

It was, again, despite my “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” tendencies, truly great to have my brother there yesterday (even though he arrived after the main event) and it was a lot of fun jabbering around with him, picking on each other, telling stories, and pulling our sibling slapstick routine to cheer her up.

In other words, it was a lot of fun.

I miss him already.

Posted on January 19th, 2010Comments RSS Feed
2 Responses to A little bit of slapstick
  1. You sound like a Great daughter.
    I’m always impressed when children take such amazing care of their parents.
    Don’t ever think you are in the majority.Some of the elderly I see suffer ,worry ,and wait all alone.
    Furthermore , never ever ever ever ever
    be jealous of hospital food!
    Sounds like ur mother did fine !
    Do that bungee jump before u lose ur nerve

  2. “Do that bungee jump before u lose ur nerve”

    Here ya go, kiddo.. They’ll help you out.. 1-888-589-3749


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