Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mary's Return

Let's pretend this never happened.

Mary called me at work on Thursday. I recognized her number on the call screen, but still I had to ask "Mary?" when I picked up the phone, as if I weren't sure.

We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes and then she got to the point of her call.

"I'll be back to work on Monday."

Needless to say, I was very happy indeed to hear this. It has been less than a week since Mary said she was quitting and things haven't been going very smoothly in her absence.

Edith, our night-time aide, has been filling and she's been nothing of fantastic. Especially since she agreed to take on a new live-in gig on extremely short notice.

Edith is very effecient, dedicated, and hard-working. (Not to mention brave, thrifty, clean and reverenet; okay, we won't mention it.)

But Mary was running all the little things around here and handing the reins over to Edith, while certainly not impossible, would have been a real pain in the kazoo. So going back to the old system is fine with me.

However, I was a little taken aback when Mary just announced her plans and I was tempted to ask "how do you know we want you?" But the truth is (a) we had given her a week to think it over, (b) I don't do that mean-spirited crap, and (c) I really want her back.

Mary said she had been going back to her shrink, who told her that my father's filthy words, thoughts and deeds, were not personal, but the product of his rather warped mind.

However, personal or not, they were pretty foul and I could see how a daily diet of this vile crap would eventually drive you batty.

I told Mary that I was glad to have her back, but that I would have to run it by my sister, who gave her thumbs up that evening. I called yesterday and made it official, but I stressed that she couldn't do this again, that, if she wanted to leave, she would have to give us two weeks notice.

So what have we learned here? Well, first of all, you can't take anything or anyone for granted. People can leave or become ill and you find yourself stuck with all sorts of duties and nonsense you never expected or wanted to have.

I learned that there are no super-humans, that Mary is a person with feelings doing a very difficult job and it overwhelmed her.

And I learned that I could have survived this incident if I really had to. Edith and I were just slowly working out a daytime schedule/plan and that we would have made it work. I also learned, by the way, that she cooks a pretty mean omelette.

I'm closer to Edith now because of this, since we spent more time together, and I think that's good. I found she was getting on my nerves earlier, but watching with my father has been a real eye-opener. She shadows his every moon and puts up with his guff.

I woke up early one morning this week to the sound of my father bellowing "This is my house!"
I went out to the kitchen and saw that he was stuffing his face with raisins while Edith was trying to get him to stop.

It was too late to eat, he was eating too much, and raisins are so small they present a choking hazard for a man recovering from a stroke. I think he may have pushed Edith or threatened her in some way, and I don't like that.

My father's always had a violent streak and I won't let him bully Edith or anybody else who tries to help him. We've had enough people quit already.

"She likes to throw her weight around," he said, as I took him back to bed.

"She's trying to help you," I said. "So you have to listen to her."

So now we get back to the business of finding my dad a home, which means getting him on Medicaid, which, in turns, means finding just about every scrap of financial paperwork he's ever created since the dawn of time.

I can't believe this bastards are actually asking for my mother's burial plot deed(!)--like we didn't bury the poor woman?--but I also know there's no arguing with a bureaucracy.

So, with malice toward none, we will welcome Mary back to the fold on Monday and get back on track. This is one time where "stay the course" actually makes sense.


Anne said...

Rob, your picture choice made me laugh outloud.

I'm picturing Mary singing and dancing with your father.

But all goofy images aside, this is a relief on so many levels. It sounds like Mary got a well-needed break, and in the meantime you learned a little about your own strength and resourcefulness. Challenges and obstacles have a way of doing that. And it's good you know Edith is on the planet, just in case.

Good luck with the paperwork. That sounds like a nightmare.

Rob K said...

Yes, Anne, it was a learning experience. It's good to have Mary back. But I think we're going to need a magician to get all these papers sorted out.