Sunday, March 20, 2011

Full Moon

Last night was the full moon, and it was perported to be the largest full moon in 19 years. The full moon I saw last night was not.

I walked out of the kitchen yesterday to find Ms. C lathering butt balm on Mr. M's behind. His boney arse was sticking toward the heavens as she slathered it on, its whiteness only surpassed by that of the zinc oxide that covered it in a thick layer.

This poor man has lost every shred of dignity. We have seen every nook and cranny of this man; we have wiped his ass after he takes a dump, we have held his shriveled up pecker while he pees to assure he hits the urinal. We have bathed him, dressed him/undressed him 300 times; we have wiped food off his face that has drippled out the bad side of his mouth. We have cleaned him up and bandaged him after he has fallen and knocked half the skin off of his arm, knee, finger, head....

I feel horrible for him. He is only 61, but when you look at him, you see an old man. Even though he can out-eat us all due to his appetite-inducing pills, he is still a stick-figure.

The chemo turned his hair white--what is left of it. He has a little left, and a few indignant long, stray strands. He still brushes his hair before we go out--really no need, but we silently let him skim the brush over his mostly-bald head.

The stroke has left him limited. He has very little control over his left hand. We often must fish his hand out of gravy, peas, soup, and pancake syrup. Yesterday he gently murmured: "that gravy is hot."

We have watched him drink himself into a stupor. I will not begrudge the man. I would most likely drink myself into a stupor everyday if I had to bear the indignities he has to each morning. He is usually soaked to the bone. He prefers Bud strip him and the bed, get him dressed, get him decent and get him a hot cup of coffee. We do not belittle him for being so wet. Ms. C., on the other hand, delights, I think, in being disgusted with him. She has zero patience with him. Hubby and I fear that when we leave--and it will be soon--she will not be very nice to him.

Mr. M wants to be independent. He stubbornly drove his stick-shift truck, backing it into a junker car in the yard and busting out the headlight. He almost put it in the swamp/pond out front. Every time I turn around, the old/not really old fellow is tottering somewhere, fetching himself a drink, heading out to smoke, or getting an itch to fish.

Fishing was his "thing". Being retired, there really isn't a whole lot to do that doesn't cost a lot of money. Since the strokes and the cancer, Mr. M hasn't been able to do what he loves. Ms. C got a wild hair a few weeks ago because she was sick of seeing Mr. M just sitting there. She said it was nice out and we were going fishing. At first, Mr. M objected, but with her prodding, he agreed to it. What an ordeal that was! It took half the morning to get Mr. M around and loaded into the truck. It is only a little 2-seater, so Ms. C and I followed in her car.

The lake ended up only being accessible by 4-wheel trucks and deer, but Mr. M insisted we could make it up the deeply-rutted (read "canyon-ed") dirt road access. The only option was to throw Ms. C and I in the bed of the truck and go for it. The tailgate doesn't go up, so Ms. C, with her two bad legs, sat on the tailgate and held on to the walker in her lap. (Do you see impending disaster?)

I climbed well into the truck, as I didn't want to be a part of that impending disaster. When we were all loaded, Hubby asked if we were all loaded, and I said yes. He gunned it, and I watched Ms. C being launched out the back of the truck helplessly as I screamed for Bud to stop. There was no stopping, as the access road was over a 40 degree angle, and we had to Baja just to get up to the lake. I screamed to Ms. C that wI would send Bud back for her.

When we got to the lake at the top, it was only then that Bud found out that he had bounced Ms. C out of the back of the truck. He went back down the hill to get her--a good 1/2 mile that seemed a lot longer from the bed of the truck. She had managed to walk about 500 feet up the hillside with her walker. Can you picture it?

Bud got her loaded and brought her up the hill. It wasn't over yet. Mr. M pointed to the cabin and a bank around the opposite side of the lake. "That is where we want to be," he said matter-of-factly. It is here that I must note that neither Bud nor I swim. I am afraid of water of my head. This is a man-made lake. It doesn't gradually get deep; it instantly gets deep. There are signs posted all over "no swimming" and "very deep lake". Special.

Now comes the fun part. To get to the opposite side of the lake, there is a narrow isthmus of land separating the lake from a 300-foot drop-off. Lake of Death on one side; Valley of Death on the other. Perfect!

There is a gate on the other side, and we couldn't tell if it was open or closed. Mr. M said it didn't matter. If it was closed, we would just park at the end and fish, and and then back out. NO. FUCKING. WAY. I volunteered to go walk the 1/4 mile and visually affirm whether or not the gate was open. I kept my eyes on the road or the lake--I didn't want to see the drop on the other side, or I would have been immobilized.

After confirming the gate was open, Bud drove across. I could not watch, nor could I get in the truck. I was paralyzed with fear. Bud obviously made it across in one piece, and we got all the chairs, poles, beers, bait and tackle out of the truck. We moved Mr. M three times before he found a place he felt confident that he could sit and not fall in, yet get a good cast in.

Mr. M could cast just fine, but realized that without use of his left hand, he couldn't hold the pole and reel it in. he did his best by holding the pole between his knees, though. After one cast, he declared he was just going to watch. So, the rest of of grabbed poles and cast out. After 10 minutes, Mr. M says: "We have to go. I have to pee."

Yes, yes, I know, he could have peed right there. I believe it was his way of saying he wasn't having fun and therefore fishing day was over. It took more time to load and unload the truck than was actually spent fishing. It was a beautiful lake. I was actually enjoying myself, once the terror of getting there was behind us. Sigh.

Mike got a wild hair yesterday and wanted to run to town and get Bream hooks, sinkers and fish feed. Good Lord, save us all.

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