Thursday, October 15, 2009

Think Twice Before Spitting On The Hand That Feeds You

I am sitting in the emergency room with my dad. He fell down, and no, I did not push him. I know I should feel very sorry for the old geezer right now however as I sit here listening to him moan and groan, I find myself wanting to say something my mother use to say to us, "See, God punished you for being so mean."

Now, I know that God does not punish old men by pushing them down, even when they are mean and He might really want to. I also know, my mom surely regretted using this plan of attack on us when we were younger after she had to pay for our therapy years later. Never-the-less, the mean streak in me wants to say it. Thank goodness, I have a healthy fear of God which makes it possible for me to sit here and just think it and not actually say it. Now before you correct my theology, I know I shouldn't be thinking it either but cut me a break right now.

My dad got up this morning looking for a fight. I understand he was a boxer, won trophies, World Hall of Fame, blah, blah, blah but 4516 Ryan Dr N.E. is not the ring and I am not Don King. Ok, my hair may look like Don King's most days but so what, I am still not him. It seems this is the way it goes with my dad. For the last eight years or so he is either hot or cold with no middle ground. One day, he is calling everyone he sees darling and sweetheart and the next he is taking swings at anyone who dares to deny him what he wants. Today was a come out swinging day. Is it the dang bell in the bird cage? Does he mistake that for the bell in the ring and think it's time to rumble? Who knows anymore?

So he was griping at just about everyone this morning, with that scowl he gets when he is in one of those moods. He didn't like breakfast, didn't like the juice, didn't like the temperature of the room, and on and on and on. After he called me for the fifth time in thirty minutes just to grumble, I told him I was done and unless he was going to be nice he didn't need to call me again. That's when Miranda stepped in.

Our daughter, Miranda, might only be eleven years old, but she has the patience and grit of Job when it comes to my dad. He can be brutal to her and she always responds the same way. It's either, "Oh, grandpa" when she laughs it off and just keeps loving him or it's, "Hey! You better be nice, Grandpa!", when she is concerned he has taken it a step too far and might end up in a nursing home or psych ward.

Ok, he just took a swing at the ER nurse for trying to put oxygen on him. When I told him to be nice, he told me to, "Get lost!!" I would so like to get lost right now. Like in Hawaii or Europe or even Oklahoma City. I am beyond ready for a day without being yelled at. Having an eighty-nine year old two year old is exhausting. I made a promise to my mother on her death bed. She made me promise I would take care of my dad. I promised, knowing full well he would never move to Oklahoma and always preferred my little sister. Do you think God ever listens to our less than sincere promises and then laughs knowing full well He is going to give us an opportunity to come through on them? I do!

Sorry, I got off-track. Shocking, I know. Anyway, so this morning when I left the room after my final warning to the old man, Miranda thought she would help me by giving him his pills that were still sitting there. Of course, he hid them in his pocket, flicked them across the table, tried to feed them to the dog and finally ..... finally, spit on Miranda! You read it right. He spit on my daughter. Hearing this from the other room, I turned into a roaring mother bear. I wagged my fat, fifty-one year old finger in his face and yelled,"Do NOT spit on my daughter!" Then I turned on my heels, looked at Miranda and we both burst out laughing. I mean, seriously, it had to be quite a sight. Short, squatty, middle-aged woman, still in her flannel gown berating the old guy who sat with his arms across his chest scowling that infamous Casas scowl. Maybe you had to be there.
So, I left before I said some of the other things that were boiling in my brain and that's when it happened. The old guy jumped up and decided to mow me down with his walker. In his haste for revenge, he caught his slipper in the back wheel and down he went with the walker landing on top of him.

I'm still pretty sure God wouldn't push an old guy down, even for spitting on a little girl. I cannot, however, speak for His angels.


MindyBB said...

Oh Marla- do you think I can find that cranky old bat from JcPenny's and introduce her to your dad? Do you think we could get him to spit on someone who actually deserves it? You go girl and you warned him about those slippers... Tell him hi for us from the door and no more slippers! Hugs, and sleep well why he is in the hospital? or send him to the nursing home for a few days of therapy that might be a nice respite? Love you! MB

Marla said...

Hey Mindy~ It is so clear that you know my dad very well. I sure do miss you, sistah!!

Sarah said...

it's great to see you maintain a sense of humor in this very difficult situation! a few days in a nursing home may straighten him up. :)

Marla said...

Thanks, Sarah and don't think for a minute that I don't have their number on speed dial.

Anonymous said...

Ok Marla, I am at the lake enjoying my family for the first time in three years. It is amazing and I am enjoying every minute while it lasts. He hasn't taken a swing at the personal assistants yet he only reserves that for his good for nothing daughter. Oh girl I can't believe this happened so quickly and unplanned.

By the way dad needs a roommate maybe drive him to Cali they can BS till the cows come home. They would both love it and so would you and Bob.

Miranda you are a trooper you and your cousin Dylan have a lot in common and a bunch of G-Pa's stories to tell.

Hugs to your whole family cause it takes everyone to make it work.

Uncle Charlie keep your spit in your mouth and your hands to yourself. And please stop the racing with that walker glad you are going to survive. Love ya Cher

Molly said...

Oh my gosh! LOL I love the angel comment!!! Can you imagine?? How funny! I never know how to handle Grandpa. I'm sure I always have a nervous look on my face whenever I'm around him....does it show??? =) Can he sense weakness??? I better watch out! HA!

Marla said...

Cher ~ I am so happy things have worked out so well for everyone including your dad. You did the right thing and I am proud of you. You are a GREAT daughter and don't you ever forget that, Cherie! I love you!!

Molly ~ Be careful. He can smell fear!

Kelly said...

This can NOT be true about my sweet, lovable, HAPPY, DADDY! Maybe he just misses his baby daughter, or the California sunshine?!?

BTW Molly - Don't worry, G'pa can't smell.

Marla said...

Kel ~ I believe you are correct. What he needs is a visit to California. Get his room ready. On your other point, you are dead wrong. Daddy definately smells.