For the first and the last time, in a single day, I pushed Mom in a wheelchair. It was the first time that she’d left the hospital and had been too weak to walk out on her own. It was the last time because I nearly killed her in the elevator. Well, that’s her side of the story. My side is less graphic in nature. Let’s just say, for the record, that (1) I’d never pushed a wheelchair before, that I can remember. (2) Modern technology has given us the means to fabricate super-duper smooth-rolling wheels. (3) Pushing a wheelchair is no where near similar to pushing a grocery shopping cart.
She fought a valiant fight. Chemo duration: 19 Months. It was during Month 4 that we learned her cancer was treatable, not curable. Kinda put a dent on Christmas that year. Our family gift exchange consists of everyone bringing a random present, then we draw numbers and choose based on our place in line. The gift Mom chose was a set of bath products that contained a bottle of shampoo. “I won’t be needing this,” she joked. She’s a feisty one.
She was in the hospital for two weeks. We blamed the doctors and nurses, but in reality, it was most likely the cancer/chemo wreaking all the havoc. It was easier to blame The Humans. We could see them coming and going, not administering her meds quick enough to suit us. We couldn’t see The Cancer. It was easier to blame what our eyes could see, rather than what our minds could imagine. It was way too convenient for me to pester the heck outta the nurses when they didn’t immediately enter the room right after Mom pushed the call button. I’m a feisty one.
We were sitting in her hospital room, talking and waiting impatiently to be officially released, when the topic of ironing came up. She loves to iron. I detest it. She irons pillowcases. I do not. She irons bed sheets. I definitely do not. Grandma used to iron pillowcases. I remember the sizzle of the hot iron and the heat from the steam as she pressed the white cotton into crisp smooth submission. Each pillowcase was hand-embroidered with colorful flowers – blue and purple with green leaves. They don’t make them like that anymore.
“Why do you iron sheets?” I asked Mom. “I’m particular,” she said. “But it’s unnecessary. They get wrinkled as soon as you lay down,” I replied. She just smiled and shook her head, but I knew what she was thinking. She ended the friendly argument by not replying. It was a true because-I-said-so moment. She’s a feisty one.