Monday, March 14, 2011

Of Human Bandage


Just wanted to explain why I haven't written in a while. And, I don't have to tell YOU, dear reader, how TRUE that old saw "A picture is worth. . .". And truth be told, THAT amount/kind of Frolic can lead to Fatigue, Foot cramps, Phony explanations even.
I'll just 'fess up'. Frustrating interruptions are the villains. You know how it goes - If it's not an arm - or some such - it's an elbow. Indeed - and anon - I MUST tell you of a most distressing missive I received from a friend this week. To say it 'gave me pause' (and I don't mean the "mena" variety) would be bordering on rudely blithe. It seems that what was to be a long-awaited, well-deserved and chocked-with-chuckles family ski trip morphed into a painful, life-threatening, embarrassing 'slush show'. Did I mention painful? Broken limbs, six to eight-inch long pins, MONTHS of dreary recuperation - not even able to weight bear for SIX more weeks! And this dear soul, you wonder, with hungry curiosity? The Dougger. Doug Reidel. I just wanted to find that damned old CAP, get on a plane & lend a few 'practiced' hands in Columbus.
(Of course, while sitting at my desk, trying to find some words of comfort, potentially POSITIVE sequelae to such a "life-comes-to-a-screeching-halt" event, a ?soupcon of humor/irony? - my eyes (dragging my mind along) wandered to a framed poem, presented to me by my children, on the occasion of having my very own office. Started reading it - you know how your thoughts stray (Hell mine have gone missing for MONTHS!), I focused on their first two stanzas, the 'medical' memories of this Coda. To wit: "If I were a Cadillac/ I'd be pink with wheels of black./ A white ragtop and leather seats/ I'd sing with Jimmy in the heat.
If I were a nurse one day/I'd mend the heart/ wash tears away./ Hold the hand of people scared/ And comfort the souls of those who pray." And I thought, "Wow. Marge REALLY needs to hop into that car & groove with the Parrotheads. (Doug & Marge, you guys, I do believe, will in fact share a GRIN or two, when the one who penned most of this opus is revealed.)
I guess it reveals a lot about 1. our feelings about ageing (as far as we're concerned, we don't.) and 2. the classic "Father-Son" relationship, wherein the teacher often becomes the student; the kid "could never beat/keep up with the old man; the only difference between 52 and 26 is numerical. Because apparently 'Old Dougger' was still "young" Dougger but 'dem bones' were hiding a few surprises. Mr. Brittle was there carrying on high with Ms. Inflexibility; The Reaction/Reflex Twins were feeling feisty in tow; Fight AND flight had hung back at the lodge, laughingly insensitive to their respective responsibilities while all-too-enthusiastically sloshing toddies. And, to be sure "Blinding (bitch) Fear" totally OUT-GLARED the usually lovely "Sun-Induced (bleached) Squintess-of-the-Downhill" so Marge, daunted but devoted, could only bribe Mr. Willpower to enlist Ms. Action whilst nullifying the tip-toe-approaching Nausea Groupies. So when all was said and done - we could ALL hit our knees and say "a few" to St. Bernard et al.
(THAT kind of near-miss loses NOTHING in the re-telling. Again I was drawn to the framed things said: "If I took up writing verse/ It wouldn't have to be for purse./ I'd write with love, and thought, and pain/ I'd share my heart with the universe./ I'd write 'bout numbers and letters and lives,/ my writing style would be alive,/ Not in one place, two place, three,/ But on any page it wants to be./ With flair and muster, I'd pen a few, writing 'bout ones whom we once knew." Marge, best friend of my husband's favorite (of four) sister, Eileen, has been part of his family since the girls were in kindergarten and part of ours - through Eileen - for lo these 41 years. So, then, I guess - as my kids hinted - I write 'bout those I knew yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just recently, I used the salutation "My New Best Friend, Marge" in an email.)
Tough as it will be, these LONG, arduous weeks of recovery will be lightened by the love and relationships that are PRIMO in "the kids", ie, Marge's AND Eileen's. They are not just CLOSE, they are united by shared lives and the baggage (happy and sad) that they share. They'll visit, hang out, PUSH Marge & the Dougger through pitiful remorse (I'd give it 7 - 10 minutes) right into perseverance and the PRIDE worthy of hard-fought-for recovery. And they'll laugh - because they-are-FUNNY AND FUN and because the alternative nets you 'nada' and they're too SMART for that. The Dougger's rehab will be 'all it can be' and NEVER an "act". Not that 'strutting one's hour across a stage signifies nothing.'
(In "My Life According to My Offspring", I read how that works: "And if I chose to act on stage,/ My passion would be all the rage./ 'She made me cry.' the people'd say,/ and made them laugh for tricks next day../ I'd sing and dance for legion crowds/ or just a few,/ if it's allowed. /It wouldn't be for them, you see?/ It would be for ME to see. For if life's a play, and I'm on stage,/ then I'M the one to write the page/ of goods and bads to happen next./ You might say mine's a living text." Ah, Marge, you must be getting warm re: the largest contributor. (No pun but it's true in size) It's the God-child of Eileen (who gave the very EARLY instruction in elf-like devilry and Irish artistic humor and YOUR favorite drinkin', memory-lane-'n buddy in Cleveland.)
Now there is ALTERNATIVE assistance for the Dougger, Marge and Fam. We DO have "connections". Yes, Eileen WAS "fun and games" BUT - as we ALL know - both she AND her favorite brother only PLAYED after the 'brain work' was 'fait accompli'. In THIS instance, I'm certain - & know that Eileen's FOUR wonderful sons, friends as well to the Reidels - will agree that in a "blink" of a jaundiced, blurred but loving EYE, we can have an experienced, strong, faithful AND related aide 'in the house', cooking, cleaning, wershing AND executing the doctors' rehab orders relating to the Dougger. Marge's onus eases, Dougger is in capable hands and progress goes forth ALL THE WHILE obviating the need for that drudge of "all-work-and-no-play". Moreover, we are more than happy to help. Just say the word. (Pick any word you like.).
(I speak from experience here. Even as I gaze fondly at my framed, inchoate literary masterpiece, 'proud as PUNCH' of my little ones, I again pass along THEIR WISDOM: "I'd play with cards till hours dark/ Calling bluffs with winning spark./ I'd play the game of life, you see?/ with balls and chips - and cookbooks, too, / (although I'd rather BUY the stew!)/ I'd read and play and think and BE/ For that is what life IS for me.)
You simply need not worry another sec about the Dougger, Marge. You two have raised wonderful little 'copers' whose love, dedication and abilities will dovetail nicely with the "HELPER" whom we shall send forth. It will be like - well - EXTENDING the Fam!
(I KNOW, Marge, that you, like me, are the subject of these last poetic words of homage written from the hearts of babes: "And if I were a Mother, my name would be Lorane/ My life would be to catch the games/ and hold the hand and ease the pains/ of my OWN kids and others', too/ A mother's job is never through./ I'd help fix toys of wood and tin,/ hold my course through thick and thin./ For 'mothering's' a chore for some,/ For me, I'd play with more aplomb./ Life could throw me things for worse,/ but life goes straight, not in reverse./ I'd stay my course with passion strong,/ steering clear through right and wrong./ See, they could never break my back/ or drive my new pink Cadillac.")
There you have IT and you, and Dougger and the KIDS - ALL of them. And now, take a deep breath, relax and know that from this point forward, whilst the Dougger heals, you'll beam with your brood and enjoy the culinary (and OTHER) surprises of your NEW helper, a guardian angel who just HAPPENS to be ready, willing and able to fit in, white glove-like, perhaps in time to dec the house in merry GREEN!
Later, Lorane. . .. .
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