CHAPTER 47 A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"Brush the strands of hair

from my face

and help me


there was ever

a moment

without you."


Dad called later that afternoon with an update from the Hospital.

"Well, they want us to sign up for the Hospice program," Dad said.

"Really?" I asked.

"Yeah. So I went ahead and filled out the paperwork and talked to the Doctor who heads the program. He was shocked we were still taking her to the shower," Dad said.

"Why?" I asked.

"He said we should be bathing her in bed," Dad said.

We'd never thought of it to be honest. We tried to keep Mom mobile and moving. The human body wasn't designed to be stagnant. It needed to move. I learned long ago the lymph system required movement.

So we'd been taking Mom to the shower. Dad would walk her to the bathroom and I'd come in to help undress her. My Parents were used to taking showers together. It was another neat thing about their relationship, how much time they spent together over the years, even working together, and how much they cared for each other.

But the last shower hadn't worked out so well. Mom had been particularly ornery and uncooperative. No big surprise there. She generally refused to take showers even when she was healthy. But there was a fine line between pushing Mom because of her stubbornness and putting her safety at risk.

All the showers started with Dad stripping down first so we could both help Mom undress, despite her protests. She was weak but Dad would help her. They'd done the routine in the shower many times while she was sick and it seemed to work.

Mom always felt better being clean too. After all taking showers was not only good for the body, cleaning off the dead skin and waste, it was also good for the soul. Water is a powerful tool, both physically and energetically.

So Mom continued with her protests and we kept getting ready for the shower. She had one foot in the tub and one foot on the bathroom floor tiles. Her shirt was still on.

Then she started shitting.

I looked at Dad like, "Uh what do you want to do?"

He stood behind her, in his birthday suit, and was like, "We're going to go with it."

I was caught between shock and wanting to roll on the floor laughing at the comedic scene.

Next thing I knew, he had turned his hand into a pooper scooper, and was catching Mom's fresh shit right in the palm of his hand. But I didn't have time for laughing. Shit was coming in real time. Pretty fast too.

I grabbed the garbage bag, which thank God had a plastic bag in it and held it for Dad while he continued to catch Mom's shit in his hand.

Mom had been spending so much time in bed her body wasn't moving as much as it normally should. When the body moves, everything flows, including the bowel system. The process of us moving her had caused her body to respond with movement. In this case, her bowels.

We moved her into the shower and her bowels continued to unload. I held the garbage bag outside the shower curtain for Dad's convenience and easy shit disposal.

I'd never seen anyone catch shit in their hand like that. Dad had been trained heavily by the U.S. Military and he's seen all sorts of stuff. I considered him an experienced and well-seasoned man. He'd traveled all over the world and even survived combat. But I'm pretty sure through all his training and his worldly experience, he'd never seen or done it before. It was a first for both of us. Well, all three of us if you counted Mom too.

After a while Mom's bowels were empty and Dad started bathing her.

"You need anything else?" I asked.

"No. I don't think so," Dad said.

I grabbed the bag of shit and took it out to the trash. So Mom would be clean and freshly empty.

Ah, it was another day in the normal life of your average home caregiver.

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