I actually thought about our favorite ginger bitch yesterday, because I got a call on my cell phone at work from my sister in Nebraska, who was driving to my mom's house because she got a call on her cell from my dad in Texas, who got a call on his cell phone from my mom, who had just tripped over a dog leash holder in her yard and broke her pelvis.
Youngest Daughter and I are reading "The Bungalow Mystery", and in it, Nancy and her friend Helen Corning, who is engaged to Jim, were in a small boat when a storm hit and their boat crashed into some rocks and they went in the drink and had to kick off their sensible shoes and swim in their dresses to the shore, and then find help. I was thinking about how resourceful you needed to be before cell phones. Instead of blowing up Carson Drew or Mother Figure Housekeeper Hannah Gruen's respective cells, Nancy had to hike around and then break into a bungalow for hot chocolate and blankets and then take Helen Corning home (so she could write a letter to Jim about the incident) and drive home before anyone knew she almost died. Whoa.
So. Yesterday. My mom broke her pelvis and it is extremely painful and of course I am terribly worried about her. But in my family of origin, you deal with a crisis in one of three ways:
- Get into a yelling match with another family member.
- Drink heavily.
- Make inappropriate jokes.
THE SCENE: Julie in Iowa, Natalie in Nebraska with Mom, Dad in Texas. You should know that my parents are married, but occasionally live in different states. It's for the best, really.
My cell phone rings at work. I answer.
NATALIE: Hi. Mom fell and probably broke something. I'm driving over there now.
ME: Did she call you?
NATALIE: No. She dragged herself into the house, and called Dad on his cell phone. Then Dad called me on my cell phone, and then I called 911 and am driving over there now.
ME: Why did she call Dad first? He's in Texas!
NATALIE: I'm not sure. And I don't exactly know the address out there (it's a cabin on a river in the boonies) so I'm meeting the ambulance to lead them in.
ME: Well don't call Dad to call Mom to call you to call me when you find out some info. Call me directly.
NATALIE: Okay. 911 hung up on me. I think I made them mad. Or they know Dad.
ME: Keep me updated.
(I'm guessing they know Dad.)
phone rings 20 minutes later
NATALIE: Okay, so I walk in the house, and all I see are her tennis shoes and the ends of her jeans on the floor.
ME: Oh my God. Like the witch in The Wizard of Oz under the house?
NATALIE: Yes. And then I walk around the corner and she is curled on her side, smoking like crazy.
ME: How did she get to her cigarettes?
NATALIE: I'm guessing she dragged herself in the house, got her smokes, then called Dad.
ME: Because she has priorities. And she knew she couldn't smoke in the ambulance or the hospital, so she was smoking what was left in the pack as fast as she could?
ME: Okay, call me back from the hospital.
I call my Dad.
ME: So what happened?
DAD: She let out that Goddamned Dog and then tripped over the spike the leash is hooked on.
ME: So it wasn't actually the dog.
DAD: I knew that Goddamned Dog would break her hip.
ME: But it's her pelvis. And it wasn't the dog.
DAD: I'm getting rid of that Goddamned Dog.
ME: What is your plan?
DAD: I guess I'm going to drive up there and get the Goddamned Dog and bring her back here.
ME: I meant regarding Mom.
DAD: Well, I'm going to see if they can give her as much pain medication as possible, have them put a catheter in her, and put her in the back of the car to drive back to Texas.
*pause while I let this horrible plan sink in*
ME: Um, Dad, I don't think they will release her with a broken pelvis to take a 20-hour car trip.
DAD: Plus I will have to have that Goddamed Dog in the car.
ME: But I think it will be bad for her to take a 20-hour car trip with a BROKEN PELVIS.
DAD: Someone has to take care of her, and I can't stay in Omaha for 4 weeks.
ME: We'll figure something out.
DAD: That Goddamned Dog.
Dad hangs up.
TEXT EXCHANGE WITH MY SISTER
ME: Coming on Friday. Will take GD dog back with me.
NATALIE: I go to Vegas Sat a.m. for work, can't change it. Dad says he's taking GD dog to kennel. He's pissed and told me to shoot her.
NATALIE: The dog, not mom.
ME: You never know. Did u know he wants to fill her w/painkillers, catheter, drive her back to TX?
ME: Mom, not the dog.
NATALIE: He always has great ideas. Mom wants him to stay in TX.
ME: He's probably already to Dallas. Restraining order?
NATALIE: Mom would have to file it.
I'm pretty sure Nancy Drew would not have these issues with Carson Drew. Mom is okay, but in pain. They can't do surgery or a brace or screws or any of that, we are on the painkillers and patience program. I am driving to Nebraska on Friday, because I am totally out of vacation at work, and I'm spending the weekend with her to convince her that staying in a Skilled Care Facility for one week does not mean we are having her committed. I'm calling it "The Elvis Presley Resort and Spa for Pelvis Rehabilitation." I keep saying, "Mom, if I had a broken pelvis, and someone offered to cook and clean for me in a place where I have the remote and can read books all day, I would totally take it. Plus, you should take a deck of cards. You could make a killing over there. Probably pay for your whole hospital stay."
So far, she is not buying what I'm selling. Wish me luck!