Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Conversations From Cell Block C

So guess where I am? Seriously, go ahead and guess. If you said prison, you wouldn’t be too far off. I am back in Houston at MDAnderson with the two wicked step-sisters. You would think they would be so thankful at my willingness to give up all my vacation time for them. Then there is the eight hour drive south not to mention dealing with the maniac drivers trying to kill me because 80 mph is obviously not fast enough in the middle lane. I suppose there is no better way to show you their extent of gratefulness than to post actual conversations from Cell Block C.

Kelly, sobbing pitifully this morning as Char and I were helping her out of the shower, drying her off, getting her into her wheelchair:

“I….(sob, sob)…..I bet you two never thought you would have to do this for me…..(sob, sob, sob)”

“Well, I always figured I would be doing this…..for Char…..in the very near future, considering her age and all.”


This seems to be Char’s new go-to word. Idiot. How original, I mean, for an old person and all.

Then there was last night when Kelly started sobbing, hoping to die in bed in the arms of her beloved. I asked if her husband David knew about being replaced by someone named beloved. I was called names and on and on followed by this little gem:

“Well, Kel, I understand even if our idiot sister doesn’t. I want to die in my sleep”, says Char in her best all-knowing, I am the oldest sister sort of way.

So, says I, “I can respect you wanting to die in your sleep. I’d be happy to make that happen for you both later this evening.”

I cannot repeat the new name Char came up with to replace idiot. I will say this; who knew the old bat could be so linguistically creative.

Of course, we always have to have the hair and makeup conversations when we are together too.

“Hey you guys, will one of you please trim my hair?”

“Trim your hair? What’s wrong with your hair?”

“I just got it cut and she did a really bad job. I need you or Char to fix it, ok?”

At this point, the two princess imposters are looking over my hair and decide it looks fine.

“Listen you two, have you ever known me to care a lick about how my hair looks. If I say it’s bad, I mean….”

“Char, she has a point. We must just be use to that look on her. Get the scissors.”

Anyway, that’s about all there is until later. Kelly is going through poking, prodding, CT Scans and MRIs. We have seen the internal medicine doctor already and will finish up on Thursday with the Oncologists and Surgeons. Kel is hoping for surgery to get the baseball size tumor protruding from the back of her head whacked off. I am hoping for a better haircut before then.

Love hopes all things.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

When I reached my thirtieth birthday, I was elated. Absolutely giddy, I tell you. I could not believe my good fortune. I found the very thought of reaching my thirties to be a miracle. I am pretty sure I heard angels singing that day. No, seriously. I was in love with being three decades old. I couldn’t understand why so many people I loved had shuttered for months before their thirtieth arrived. You would have thought body parts were destined to fall off on their thirtieth birthdays. I just didn’t get it. I remembered my tenth and twentieth birthdays being pivotal. Thirty was all that and more.

Approaching my fortieth birthday, I felt a sense of awe and wonder. How could I, being the complete moron I am known to be, have reached such a spectacular age? Women in their forties were beautiful, smart and oozed awesomeness from my perspective. To join that club was amazing. I mean seriously, how lucky was I to be forty and still feel like I did at twenty? Maybe my body looked older but my brain still said I was all that and a side order of fries.

Fifty. Seriously, I cried like a baby when I turned fifty. There was a deep, spiritual, overwhelming cloak of sacredness that fell from the heavens and covered my very being on that day. I looked in the mirror, watching the tears flowing down my cheeks and thanked God for this amazing time in my life. I was fifty. I had made it half way to my hundredth birthday. I had lived an amazing life so far. I was blessed beyond belief with a family that loved me and friends that stood by me. What more could I hope for? I was sure I would reach a state of Nirvana when I hit sixty because the decade birthdays for me had always been so freaking inspiring.

Then I turned fifty-four a few months ago. What? The? Hell? All of a sudden I have no direction in my life. I say whatever comes into my brain including letting strangers know what I think of their rude and ridiculous public displays of poor upbringing. My few stray gray hairs that I have always prided myself in honestly earning have sprouted friends. My oath to never curl up and dye is now being tested. Hair has stopped appearing where I need it to appear and has begun to proliferate in areas that will surely earn me a spot in the circus. I’m talking the main tent attraction here. My body, though never much to brag about, has now become something people would definitely find much to talk about. I need braless days at home now and then. Girls need to breathe once in awhile however the thought of tripping over them has become a real issue at fifty-four. And falling, lets talk about falling. Can I even begin to tell you how many times I have fallen lately? And this without drugs, alcohol or rock concerts involved. I mean, I am walking along and all of a sudden my legs yell up to my brain, “Trip her!!” and down I go. Of course, then all I can think about is yelling, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”, because, dammit to hell, I am the same stinking age as that damn woman in the commercial. Dammit! My mother loved that word. Dammit. And now I am using it. I am officially my mother. I am old.

So here I am at fifty stinking four, with a husband that would surely like to have sex again someday. With me, I am pretty sure. The problem is, we are both working ridiculous retail hours that leave us worn to a frazzle by the time we get home around ten every night. Losing his job at fifty stinking eight was not a part of our retirement plan. Working retail to pay our house payment was not a part of the plan either. Never having sex again must be factored into this current equation. Sex seems to be a recurring theme in my last two posts. Who knew this was such an important part of old people’s lives?

Anyway, hard decisions are about to be made. We want to have a life worth living again. We want to see our grandchildren, have dinner with friends, go camping, take in homeless people. We would like to travel someday and I mean further than to work and back. We would like to have sex.

Do we sell everything, kiss our sweet horses, chickens and piggy goodbye and move into a small house somewhere? Do we stay in Oklahoma? Do we head somewhere else? Anywhere else than where we are now, working ninety hours a week? This does not feel like living. This feels like death grip survival mode. I am pretty sure we are both just about ready to see the end of this debacle. All I know is I am fifty stinking four and there is suddenly less time in front of me than behind me. I have things I want to do, places to go, people to see.

God help me if I make it to sixty!