As it happened, Jose the Hospice Nurse didn't come to see Granny today. Chuckles did. As it also happened, my mother was at the dentist leaving me completely in charge.
I told Chuckles that poor Mother was convinced that the minute she put an eyedropper of morphine under Granny's tongue, Granny would be bugled up to Jesus and Mama would go to Jail. Chuckles assured me that nothing could be further from the truth. In Harris County, Texas the medical examiner is only called in when there is trauma involved - like a blow to the head with a blunt instrument. When someone is on palliative care, medicine is never questioned. In fact, Chuckles said that if Granny wants a glass of wine and a line of cocaine it was just fine for her to have it. He had no suggestions on where to get said cocaine, but given that we have a refrigerator full of morphine I suppose that is irrelevant.
I explained to Chuckles that Mother has been overwhelmed since Granny came home from the hospital a couple of months ago with so many conflicting diets that she was afraid she could kill Granny with a slice of banana bread. Chuckles allowed as how if that were possible, bananas would be selling by the case.
Chuckles also said that the itty bitty bit of morphine Mother would be giving in the drops cycles out of the system in an hour and is, therefore, much less dangerous than the methadone they were giving Granny regularly last week. Mother feels much more comfortable now. I recommended she put the alarming word Morphine out of her head and look at Granny's shortness of breath simply as Spells which require The Drops.
I spent an nice, relaxing hour floating in the pool secure in the knowledge that, for now, my work here is done and I can get the hell back to New York. From the safety of New York, I can contemplate how to deal with my father who has turned into a proverbial Grumpy Old Man. But first, I want to change my closet over from Winter to Spring and fill my apartment with daffodils.
I have to say that the Northwest Suburbs of Houston are lousy with Witnessing Christians. Mother says that being a Democrat who doesn't go to the big Baptist church down the road severely interferes with a person's social life. She listens to a singer named Todd Snyder who sings about Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White American Males to entertain herself out here, but that's not the same as attending cocktail parties regularly. As soon as Granny dies, they are planning to move inside the loop where there are substantially more Democrats. Inside the loop, you can't see your own Democratic vote in the election results. There could be 100 Democrats you haven't even met yet. Alternative lifestyles are also more accepted inside the loop. In fact, years ago a Mayoral candidate here in Houston dismissed one entire neighborhood, Montrose, as being filled with Oddwads, Queers and Weirdos. Now that I think about it, that's probably the neighborhood where my Uncle Jenifer lives - but nobody in the family actually speaks to him/her anymore. Maybe from the safety of New York, I'll email her and inquire.
I have complete confidence that if I told Uncle Jenifer that Granny the Ho was dying a few miles north of him/her, Jenifer would want to visit Granny. Jenifer is from my father's side of the family (generally a group of awful human beings) and Granny is from Mother's side. Years ago when Granny lived at the beach in Galveston and later in Laguna, Jenifer (who was a teen-aged boy at the time) visited her often. I'm sure Uncle Jenifer would want to pay his/her respects and my father's head would definitely explode. If Jenifer decided to pay back the $800 s/he still owes Granny from wrecking her Mustang in 1968, my mother would pass out.
The power I hold in my hands occasionally staggers the mind.
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