Would it be wrong to tie her to the chair? My brother told me he found her on a step stool the day after she came home from the hospital. Day before yesterday I walked into the kitchen to find her bent over with whisk and dustpan sweeping the mat in front of her kitchen sink. Today she’s lifting a large heavy plastic bin searching for 6 tiny screws she knows are “somewhere around here”. Though she is walking with a walker very slowly and eating pain pills and muscle relaxers like candy, the extent of her injury has not yet penetrated her brain. I prefer not to go over the obvious once I’ve mentioned it a time or two, letting reality do the talking, it’s much more convincing than I could ever be.
The day after her little sweeping frenzy she was in such pain she swore she would not bend down to pick up a thousand dollar bill. Now I look over and tell her she probably shouldn’t pick up and move that bin and she says it’s not heavy and I say, oh, OK and she says, oh alright, I’ll leave it.
I’m a terrible nurse/caretaker. I am impatient and my compassion is a small country with well defined borders.
Her friends came over yesterday. One woman from Nicaragua, the other from Ecuador. They brought a plate of the most delectable looking (and tasting) home made Indian sweet pastries! Wish I knew what they were. I know this, they were scrumptious and odd. Sesame seeds, sweet potato, pistachios, walnuts, honey and who knows what else.
They sat and watched Coming to America with Eddie Murphy and the Nicaraguan woman’s laughter was the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. Before they left they stood around my mom and she called for me to join them we all held hands and they prayed with their eyes closed while I watched their faces and listened. Though I am not a stranger to this landscape, I do not frequent the territory, I run from it as if my life depended on it. I always feel a perverse impulse to do something untoward.