If you have been living in the Snowmaggedon part of the US this 2014, you know how desperately we all want sunshine and warmth. My last post was from a teeny jaunt to Florida and I was somehow lulled into thinking that going away meant being away.
Day Three: My friend and I are getting ready to go out to the extra special dinner we have planned for the trip. We are going to a five star restaurant to be wined and dined. We have been lolling in the sunshine, chatting for hours and resting in the warm, balmy air of Florida.
“Hello?” I already recognize the phone number, Chestnut Knoll at Home, and know it’s not good.
“Cathy? This is your brother-in-law’s caregivers. His wheelchair is broken in the lying back position, and we can’t get it to move. And it’s time for his dinner.”
All I can picture is the poor guy laying back like in a dentist’s chair trying to get some peas into his upside down mouth.
“Okay,” I say,” let me call the wheelchair repair guy, because this is their rental that they just brought him yesterday.”
Of course, it is 5:00. I’m in a bathrobe, wet hair, no make-up, our taxi is coming in a half-hour AND, I’m pretty sure wheelchair repair guy closes at 5:00.
I call the repair office, closed. I call the salesman in my phone that I have listed as ‘wheelchair Sean’ and leave a message. I do what every caregiver does. I call my mom.
“Mom, I left messages for the wheelchair repair guy but I don’t know if they will get back to me. The caregivers suggested we get a hospital tray and put him back in bed, but I don’t think that makes sense.”
My mom is 85 years old. A REALLY GOOD 85 years old, but I can’t picture her hustling a huge hospital tray on wheels into her car and over to my brother-in-law’s for dinner.
“Okay,” she says, I’ll just go over there and help feed him.”
I call back the caregivers at my brother-in-law’s phone but they don’t answer. I call their office and we formulate a plan for Mom to feed him now, they will feed him breakfast and hopefully the repair guy will get there before lunch and they can get him back in the chair by then.
My phone rings, I’m still in my bathrobe.
“Hi.” It’s wheelchair Sean. He gives me some simple directions on how to probably fix the chair.
I call the caregivers at my brother-in-law’s phone again. Still no answer. I call the office, give them the instructions. They call me back in 2 minutes, saying crisis averted, chair fixed.
I throw the phone at my friend and tell her to call my mom probably driving in her car and tell her to go home.
“Hello?” I hear my Mom answer, as I’m putting on a face in the bathroom, and trying to get on underwear before the taxi gets here.
My friend says to my Mom: “You can go home, the wheelchair is fixed.”
“I can go home?” my Mom says. “Yes, go home, he’s fine,” my friend tells her.
“Okay, thanks. I’ll go home,” my Mom says, “ummm, WHO is this?” Explanations ensue.
My friend and I go to an absolutely lovely dinner where we are treated like princesses. We have a bottle of wine, oysters Rockefeller…my phone rings.
“Hey, it’s your brother-in-law.”
“Hi, is everything ok?”
“Well, yeah, YOU called me. What did you want?”
“Oh, nothing,” I say and dive into my Pinot Grigio.
You just have to Laugh…….