I’ve been a mom. I’ve been a manager. I’ve been a conniver, a manipulator, a planner, queen bee, doormat. But never— since my mom turned me out when I was 17—have I been just a daughter.
I’m so freakin’ old, I was a “Beatle Booster”, which makes my eighyish parents really, really old. They’re both tough as seal-skin boots, but I see the spark starting to flicker. Turns out, they need me here right now. Who knew?
The thing is , I dragged all my stuff here from New Jersey,all boohoo-ing and morally conflicted—obstensibly because I needed to be cared for. Me, get it. It’s ALL ABOUT ME. They cut my leg off, stuck a piece of metal down the bone, and sewed it back together. Then they took my ankle joint apart and reconstructed it like a bloody jigsaw puzzle (heh, bloody. Get it?).
Yeah, yeah. Save your tears. My father has heart stents and beat lymphomic cancer. My Mombo fell down and broke her friggin’ neck, then drove herself to the hospital, has had a hip replacement, shoulder replacement, AND quadruple bypass.
Ooh. sounds bad, huh? Ha! Read on.
The day before my knee surgery, my everlovin’ Mombo fell down in a parking lot. She broke her leg. She broke her arm. She broke her glasses, lost a tooth and broke her face. She and I were in adjoining wings in the hospital. (Upside: She still worked in that hospital as a housekeeper, so the nurses were really, really nice to us.)
Now, when you’re lying in bed with a morphine drip and a physical therapist comes in three hours after surgery to make you move your knee around, and you want to whine and tell her to come back later . . . well, you just can’t. The snowy image of your aged mother lying in bed—without even her glasses—fills the TV screen in your head. You stuff the hospital blanket between your teeth to stifle the screams, and you move your bloody knee!.