20060210

Broken

I still remember when those "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials started running. What great fun we all had mimicing and lauching about it. Imagine. Little old men and women falling down everywhere. Stuck in akward positions on the floor...alone. Funny.
I have to admit though, I remember a particular incident that while amusing in retrospect was not then.
My wheelchair-confined grandmother made what she considered to be a wise decision, at least to her stroke-muddled brain and decided to release the break on her chair while positioned at the top of the wooden ramp we had installed to get her from the house, across the porch and down to the sidewalk. I assume to pluch the dying heads off some fo the flowers in the garden. She rolled along a couple feet, then hit the lip of the ramp and the chair stopped, but her body had enough forward momentum to tip her over. Probably the clearest memory I have of dear Grammie was of her planted face first, granny brief-clad rear end in the air for all to see in the flower garden. And her main concern was that the man acrosss the street who tended to just watch the neighbors all the time in an almost creepy way had seen her panties. Forget the fact that she had in that few second moment between rolling her out and setting the break, to turn and close the front door she took quite the header...she could have broken her neck, back, hip...none of that mattered. What did matter was that everyone would know the color of her panties.
I look back and chuckle, because really, it was like a moment out of a sitcom. Then when I am ready to walk away, it's me lying on the ground. I always attributed it to plain klutziness, but what if it's more than that? Is there a whoopsie gene? Or is it just that 99% of the time my mind is somewhere else entirely? Or maybe my condition that I have done my best to ignore, deny, fight beyond-whatever has had an effect on my balance, or more likely my ability to do something as simple as walk, or sit in a chair without incident. I don't know. What I do know if after the last couple days I will no longer be so rudely amused by helplessness.

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