Friday, July 13, 2007

Creak and Shuffle


I've read blogs about people with drug addictions, homelessness and alcoholism. Blogs about travel, parties and midnight rendevous.

My big story tonight: I helped my parents with some bookkeeping. That's it, folks. I hear you clicking 'next blog' as I type this. If you're under the age of 30, this post is probably as facinating as watching your grandfather clip his toenails.

My parents are in their 80's. They're in good health, go to the gym daily. They creak a little, no one speaks loud enough for them to hear, and their eyesight is failing. Nap a lot. I help them to the doctor's, or pick up groceries. My sister takes them shopping, and her daughter visits and helps out too. My parents are still pretty independent and try to do as much as they can without 'bothering us'.

Of course, it's no bother, but they hate asking for help.

My dad gave up driving over two years ago. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when that happened, but we also understood what a sad day it was for him. Nobody walks in L.A., as the song goes. Mostly, because you don't get anywhere, and the mass transit stinks. Driving means independence, freedom, possibilities.

They'll have to pry the steering wheel from my cold dead fingers, damn it.

Macular degeneration makes it hard for them to read bank statements, or letters. It's difficult to call businesses for information because they can't hear well, or see the buttons on the phone, or find phone numbers in the phone book.

One time, my mom (who is about 4'10" and 100 lbs) didn't want to bother anyone, so she took the bus to Kaiser Permanente in Harbor City, about 6 or 7 miles from her home. Typically, not a problem, but by the time she picked up her prescription there were no more buses going back to her home.

My sister was at work in El Segundo, around 15 miles away, and her daughter was in Long Beach with her baby son.

I got a call from my dad asking if I could get my mom from the corner of Normandie and PCH. It was about 9pm, and I was playing slots at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas.

Fortunately, my niece's husband is a swell guy, and he drove at mach 5 from Long Beach to rescue my mom. She sheepishly admitted it probably wasn't a good idea to take the bus that late, but she didn't want to bother anyone.

The only time my mom and dad bother me is when they try not to bother me.

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