CHAPTER 72 The Price Of Comfort

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"I will bleed for you...always."


Every day the opening question was, "How did you sleep?"

Dad's answer would set the tone for the rest of the day.

"She slept a little better. But I was turning her every two hours," Dad said.

"Oh my God," I said.

"Yeah," Dad said.

I heard the anger in his voice. The one he wouldn't speak of. He'd be angry but he didn't want to talk about the why. Nobody wanted to talk about the why. Mom sure as fuck didn't.

Everybody was going about their day and nobody was giving a voice to the things that were suffocating all of us in our respective lives.

The pain that wasn't there. The wounds that wouldn't heal. The scars we ignored. The resolution that never came. The inner peace we didn't know. Not a single fucking one of us.

Mom spent most of the day saying "Owie" every five minutes. And Dad spent the rest of the day trying to turn her so she would be comfortable.  But every time he did, it didn't resolve the cause of the pain. Mom was so uncomfortable that matter how many times we turned her, she couldn't get comfortable. It was impossible.

I could see it on his face. The last six months had exhausted him. But the truth was the last few years had drained him of any reserves. He was at his wit's end and there wasn't anything I could do to help him. I stood there helpless watching him going under. I didn't have much to offer because I was drowning myself. Maybe we would see each other on the way down.

Maybe we could wave or something during the descent as if to say, "This is fucking it. Nice knowing you. Hope to see you on the other side. Love you. Bye."

The days were becoming complicated and problems were mounting. We priced out a Tempurpedic bed for Mom. If we bought a king size mattress it came out to about three thousand U.S. dollars. Or what could be the down payment on a new car. It was money we didn't have sitting around. I'm sure we could have scrounged for it one way or another and people would have probably donated to the cause as well.

Me: So this is gonna morbid. :( We met with the hospice social worker last week who walked us through "in the event of death". Something you need to decide...if you wanna see the body before the funeral pu. And Mom's having difficulty being comfortable...we're gonna see about getting enough money to get a Tempurpedic bed...$1300 twin. We're having to turn her, which causes pain, every 1-3 hours. It's exhausting. We're gonna talk to the Doc tomorrow and see what he says. Susie generously offered to take some of the heirlooms off our hands for $. Shocking. We're gonna pass. Dad's exhausted and angry.

Bro: Okay. In no order. No I've got the memories, no need to hold things up so I can see the body. That sounds exhausting. :/

Me: Ok. So noted.

Bro: Gods. Don't let the bitches get you down. Hugs from down here.

I knew my Mom well enough to know it would be a cold day in Hell before she ever handed over family heirlooms to anyone, especially Susie. I don't know what it was between the two, but it sounded to me like Susie had felt jilted for over twenty years by what my Grandmother, my Mom's Mom, had given Mom when my Grandmother had died.

Susie had given an identical offer to Mom when we were going through the foreclosure ("Is The Juice Worth The Squeeze?" Book 1). I called it the "Heirlooms For Cash" offer. Mom had told her "No" then as well.

Susie called Dad at some point after the foreclosure to try and mend the fence with Mom. She left a message with Dad to give to Mom and have Mom call her. But Mom wanted none of it. She had no interest in ever talking to Susie again after what had happened between them during the foreclosures. As far as Mom was concerned, Susie was no longer a part of her life, nor would she ever be.

There was no doubt in my mind that Mom would have come back from the grave to scratch our eyes out if we ever handed those cherished items to Susie or anyone else for that matter. That was how strongly Mom felt about it. Mom was pretty laid back and very kind and generous. That is until you tried to reach for something Mom was serious about especially if it was something she considered "hers". Then the gloves came off. She didn't mess around.

I thought it was interesting the requests people put in when they knew your life was in the shitter. If I had the money to help someone else out, I would have given them the money. If handing over money felt uncomfortable then I could always hand over a grocery gift card, fuel card, or pay some bills at their Doctor's office. Whatever. I would not have used it as an opportunity to further my material possessions and wealth. But hey, that's just me.

There were decisions to be made. There were chores to be done. There was life happening. Whether I wanted it or not. Whether I was ready for it all or not. It was coming at me full steam.

I stood there. But I wasn't feeling it. I was feeling too much everywhere else. I stood there alive and lost, as the ripples flowed out and back. I was watching it all fall in front of me in slow motion.

I had withstood destruction many times. But this one had a different flavor. This one cut to the core with such finality that I barely had any breath left.

Dad and I had slaved and toiled away so hard at our task. Yet we had been so weak and unsure. But we put our heads to the grindstone every day in a battle for life. I'd never been in a war like Dad had. I didn't know combat. But to me, every day of this had been war. It was a war to save her life and she'd been slipping away from us the whole fucking time.

The end wasn't coming. It was already here. It had arrived before I had a chance to kill it. It came years ago. Maybe even lifetimes in a whisper of fate that I had no say in.

She'd decided. She'd made the choices time and time again without my consent. It was her will and yet it been my will to go into Hell to try to bring her back. Dad and I had just been bit players in a life that wasn't ours to live.

There was no coming back from this. Not really. Not ever. Not for any of us.

Juice Day 121

4 leaves collard greens

1 ½ tablespoon ginger root

½ cup dandelion greens

5 leaves napa cabbage

½ pomegranate

1 Fuji apple

Mom's Juice

1 stalk of celery

1/3 red beet

1 large carrot

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