98 Pounds of Dynamite

Mary-Gray. She’s a Cracker Jack of a lady. She’s my mom.
Give her the opportunity to dance and this gal is snapping her fingers and shaking her hips.

A couple of weeks ago, she had had a wonderful nights sleep, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. She was feeling good. So she put on some Andy Williams, opened the screen door to back patio and started sashaying down the concrete steps. Then boom in the middle of her best Ginger Rogers, my mom fell and broke her hip. 

Although she had her Life Alert button on her, she screamed for help. (She didn’t know how she was going to get herself back inside to the kitchen to answer the call from Life Alert when they would call to check on her. In her excruciating pain, she didn’t realize that she didn’t have to answer the phone and that Life Alert would automatically call the first responders.) So she lay there screaming for help. Luckily two young neighbors heard her. They called my brother and 911. 

When my brother got there, saw her lying under the patio table, he asked her how this had happened. She jokingly responded that it was all his fault. David says “ME?!?” Yes. You bought me that stereo system on which I played Andy Williams, which made me dance down those steps! …And by the way, we never did clean under this table! It is awfully dirty.

Oh Momma.

Immediately, the flying wedge went into action. (“The Flying Wedge” is what my family calls the unity in which we all come together when someone is in need and we take care of things.) My brother followed the ambulance, my sister, Jane got to the hospital within minutes and sister, Laura, who lives in Stone Mountain, Ga, arrived just a few hours later. Due to my foot surgery just the week before, I was not able to go to Columbia. Laura spent the whole week in the hospital with my mom sleeping in a cot by her bed.

After a week in the hospital, mom was moved to a rehabilitation center. Laura, David and Jane got mom settled into her new “home” for the next month. My sister, Susan, from St.Mary’s, Ga, arrived the day after her last day of school. (In fact it was her last day ever from teaching. She retired after 30 years.)

I couldn’t stand it. I had to get down there. Despite what I told you about in my last post, when I got into trouble for driving due to my craft emergency, I put a shoe on my healing foot and drove to Columbia. (Psst….I would appreciate it, if you could just keep that between you and me.)

I walked into my mom’s room and see my sister, Susan. We just started laughing. Even though we live a state away from eachother, we seem to think the same things, watch the same shows, read the same books and wear the same clothes. We visited with mom until she needed her nap from all of the physical therapy. 

Susan and I decided to take dinner to mom that night. We would plan a Memorial Day picnic with Jane, David, David’s daughter, Rachael and her significant other, Jay. Laura even made a surprise visit! We would bring hot dogs, baked beans, watermelon, corn on the cob, slaw, deviled eggs and chips.

Jane arrived from work wearing….blue and white also! Too weird. Susan and I had pulled out some old table cloths from when we were growing up and crockery that held so many memories. We even found napkins that I swear we used at my 4th birthday party! 

Wheeling mom outside, she was so surprised to see everyone. It made her giggle with delight when we showed her the things we brought from home. Coincidentally, a gentleman from my moms church was recovering in the same place. Jane saw him in the hall and invited him to join us. Mr. Allen was an absolute delight! He had so many interesting stories to share and was sincerely interested in ours. Most interesting, is that in the 1950’s, Mr. Allen and my sweet Daddy were stationed together in Cheyanne, Wy.! Annnd they both, through their roundabout lives, ended up living in Columbia, SC  ANNND At. The. Same. Church! Crazy.As we said our good-byes at the end of the evening, we hugged and Mr. Allen smoothly dropped the last beer into the inside pocket of his jacket, he said to get him through his last few days of “incarceration”. With all of his military and world experience, hopefully he found a way to open that pop top. 

With five of her six children there, it was such a special evening.
The next day, Susan and I surprised mom with a visit from her old friend Jessie. Jessie and Jane lived with mom for about 11 years until recently, When they bought a house nearby. Mom has missed her pal greatly. 

Jessie did lots of talking telling Gma all about her new digs. They shared some treats.

They watched the rain just like they used to do sitting on the front porch. 

The following day, Susan left for St. Mary’s and I hung out with Mom. We played her favorite card game, Phase 10. I can’t tell you how many games we have played together over the years. It’s a great game where young and old, new and experienced can play. 

Let’s just say that this little firecracker kicked my fanny. Not only kicking fanny at cards, but in this whole rehab situation. She knows what is expected of her in order to be released, so she’s like putting it in high gear and practically doing the 50 yard dash down the hallway. The Physical Therapist is saying “Whoa Miss Mary!”  while trying to hold on to the safety belt wrapped around mom’s waist. 

Mary-Gray is doing a wonderful job in resting and working hard to gain her strength and stamina. She is a little bit of a rebel in not doing exactly what the doctor and nurses have told her to do, but she’s doing what she feels capable and a little bit more. 

So as I get into the car, to make my way the hour and half home, (in which I am completely disobeying doctors orders), I realize I am so much like my mom. And I’m ok with that. 

When she finally gets released from rehab, Susan will take my mom to live her, her husband and two sweet puppies in St. Mary’s . She will continue to get stronger in a loving environment overlooking the marshy coast. 

The flying wedge descends again.

Thanks for dropping by!

3 thoughts on “98 Pounds of Dynamite

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