Friday, November 13, 2009

The Key to Happiness



"Morning Lar", I said, popping my head around his door.

Silence.

Hmmm....

I busied myself with the Royal Breakfast. Delivered it to her Highness, descended the stairs and tried again.

"Good morning Lar".

Silence.

Please God, don't let him be dead, not this morning. I'm not ready.

Took the bull by the horns, went into his room, opened the curtains and said again "Morning Lar".

"You're late" he said.

My turn to be silent. Guilty as charged.

It was 9.15am. I'm normally there at 8.30am. But this morning I was late waking, the bin had to be put out, the dog was misbehaving and I figured 30 minutes isn't a hanging offence. Wrong.

"Why were you late?" he asked, as I was performing the ablutions. I explained the velcroed-to-the bed syndrome, the antics of the psychotic canine, the recalcitrant bin with the wobbly wheel, attempting a little bit of light relief.

For once, he was not amused.

We continued our daily dance with the intricacies of balance and movement, in silence.

About an hour later, as he was sitting at the wash hand basin, shaving foam everywhere, he grabbed my arm and said "I thought you weren't coming".

"Sure, don't I always turn up" I said lightly, "like the proverbial bad penny".

"I thought you weren't coming" he repeated.

Silence.

For the last week or so, there has been a lot of tension between the sisters concerning the care of their father. Each believing that the other was being unreasonable. As a result, we had a meeting yesterday with a representative of a care-givers association with a view to finding somebody willing to call each day for an hour to assist with Lar. Larry remained, for the most part, silent throughout. Her Highness does most of his talking anyway.

"Lar, unless I drop down in my tracks or himself does me in in the middle of the night, I'll be here every morning, whether you like it or not!"

"Good" he said "I'm glad .. because ... I thought you weren't coming anymore"

Nobody, including me, saw fit to tell Lar the full details of what was being organised. So he spent a restless night wondering. And worrying.

And the moral of this story?

Don't be late.

4 comments:

Molly said...

You told this so well, I was there doing the daily dance with yourself and Lar! Heartbreaking to think he doubted for a minute that you'd show up; you who are not his flesh and blood, but are there for him more than the flesh and blood are. I think the moral of the story is: Make sure Larry is included in the debate and left in no doubt about the details!

Warty Mammal said...

I echo your sister's comments.

Sounds as though F-I-L has quite a bit of affection for you, though it may be masked by gruffness and indirect statements.

Pauline said...

The daily dance - and then one day the music stops, the dance ends, and off your life goes in another direction. It's good that you can take note of the steps in the midst of them.

Meggie said...

This brought a tear to my eyes. My daughter works in the Care field, so I know about this.