Have you ever fallen?
I don’t mean a stumble where you quickly composed yourself, hoping no one was looking…. I’m talking a full-blown, body-twisting, head-banging, header here! Yes?
Well I have, and it was a doozy!
Let me take you back to less than two weeks before Christmas, 2003; the typical holiday madness had taken over all my sensibilities which were already challenged from taking care of my mother who had been residing with us for almost a year. She had been in rare form those first months as she kept escaping out of the house and had endless bouts of “Sundowning” each night that allowed me little sleep. On top of it all, my work schedule was drastically modified to allow time for Mom’s attendance at a local day care facility.
Six days each week involved a 100 mile round-trip rushing to and from the office. My return trip home would often send me into a state of frenzy if I encountered heavy traffic; the facility my mother was in mandated a prompt 4:30 pick-up and had a strict rule…successive caregiver-tardiness would result in the dismissal of a given senior citizen from its program. So, drive like the wind did I; couldn’t take any chances of losing the little respite that I had been fortunate to find. That…was the exact scene on that fateful afternoon.
I share with you my diary entry from that day…….
Friday, December 12th, 2003….
Secured mother from day care.
Stopped at supermarket, mother refused to get out of car.
Had to purchase just a few items so I left said parent sitting in back seat.
Ran, like hell, into market, grabbing items from shelf like a lunatic.
Fast checkout, out the door towards my car where I see……mother high-tailing it across the parking lot at a fairly respectable rate of speed.
Run after parent, yelling at her to stop; parent gives me “the thumb”; either she couldn’t get her middle finger up or, for some reason, she thought waving her thumb would be much more insulting.
Catch up with mother, grab her by the arm, get cursed at.
Person driving out of lot stops and gives me a dirty look.
I return dirty look and curse back at passer-by….under my breath.
Get mother back into car, hook her into the seat belt.
Mother un-hooks seat-belt and tries opening door.
I secure seat-belt, again, and hit the child-lock (which I had earlier neglected to do) to prevent her further escape.
Ride home proceeds without incident except for a good deal of parental cursing from the back seat.
Pull up the driveway, mother asks “where are we?” I tell her that we’re home, she insists “that’s a filthy lie, no we’re not!”
Ignore, ignore, ignore…
Park and remove mother from the car, help her into the house.
As we go in, she comments on the Christmas decorations.
Same comments she made on the way out the door earlier that day.
Sit her down in the kitchen with coffee and cookies.
Head back outside to gather packages but as I hit the top inside step….I become airborne.
Darkness…….for a few minutes.
Through my foggy head, I hear muffled yelling, dog growling; head and ankle hurting and sense a horrible heavy feeling on my chest.
Awake to Tonka, our 150+ lb. Rotty-Lab, lying across my chest as my daughter yells at him to move.
He won’t allow her anywhere near me, keeps growling…..daughter keeps yelling.
My head is almost implanted in our front door (leaving a sizeable dent) and my left leg is….well, somewhere, just cannot feel it at that moment.
Ankle is throbbing like a champ so I know leg is still connected to my body.
There, in the midst of all the commotion, a voice can be heard at the top of the stairs, causing even the dog to look up.
Shrill voice not expressing concern or even offering help.
In her typical, demanding form, oblivious to her daughter lying, in a puddle of chaos at the bottom of the stairs, my mother stood, in all her demented glory, and kept repeating…..”will someone get me another cookie, please!”
Had I the ability to climb up those steps at that very moment and go after her, there would have been less for Santa to bring down the chimney that Christmas.
But, thanks to a mild concussion and sprained ankle, I was unable to carry out any thought of revenge.
Instead, mother got…….another cookie!
And that, my friends, is where I came up with the name of my book and this blog…..Another cookie, please!