Today some woman called from the medical supply company to talk about Max’s wheelchair. She wanted to schedule a pick-up time, since the insurance company won’t pay for the rental “once the client has passed.” I don’t want to hear the word “passed.” People die, even though we don’t want them to. Passing is a euphemism that seeks to downgrade the truth. Let us speak of death openly.
The woman says that we already owe $400 for the chair but guess what? I looked up the exact model and it sells for $325. I am not giving them the fucking chair because it’s still at the dining table where it belongs. When the woman calls back, I plan to tell her that I’m keeping the wheelchair and she can take me to small claims court. It’s staying here no matter what.
But nothing is ever enough. My dad was admitted to the hospital yesterday after losing 25 pounds. He can’t swallow or talk. He’s 89 years old and they wanted to send him home. They had no idea they were dealing with a hardened veteran of hospital chicanery. Fuckers. Now the whole group of my father’s 7 children are assembling to handle the situation. Some of us barely know each other. None of us can bear to see him suffer, now that he’s old and helpless.
The man in the next bed was telling his imaginary friend about 1933. He was incensed at times, ranting about ten children, and then slipping in and out of Word War II. At one point, he said, “Why, thank you!” with such graciousness that I wanted to cry.
I’m not close to my father but I was grateful to have someone to care for, a hand to hold, a head to stroke. I just want to take care of someone again.