Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gracie, Frankie and my mom

Gracie and Frankie is a TV show broadcast on Netflix.  Both actresses, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, play women who have had long marriages to their lawyer husbands.  Those guys have worked together over the years and they have fallen in love with each other and have married each other, leaving the two women, who have never been all that close, to live together and try to bear each other.


Some of the episodes are quite funny.  I enjoyed a recent one where Gracie and Frankie both have back problems and are both on the floor and can't manage to get up.  My mom lay on the floor for a whole day in a similar trapped situation.  I am sure it wasn't funny for her.


The situation exemplifies the sudden change in circumstances that can befall anyone, especially someone whose sight, or strength or balance or breathing or heart can lessen or fail unexpectedly.  One of our usual assumptions is that older people will not suddenly have a heart attack or keel over but sudden changes can and do happen.  The Buddhists like to say that everything changes and I am confident they are right.  


There are grown children who care about their mothers and would be happy to help them up.  If they could use the phone, those grown children would come over and assist.  Normally, the wireless phone would be right there in its cradle but the tv remote gets misplaced so often that it is in the phone cradle and we are not sure where the damned phone is.  Wherever it might be, if we do locate it, it is sure to be nearly unreachable place, a location that is a full challenge to reach or worse. Anyone who has spent time in a hospital bed knows the value of every square inch of real estate on the night stand or other places we can reach. And we are all familiar with the idea that whatever we need just now is not available or isn't working.  


Plus, the kids, God bless 'em, are busy.  They aren't expecting to be asked to interrupt their day and their meetings to fight their way across town to help one of us up.  So, when they do, they aren't going to be in a real happy mood.  And after all we have done for them!  Sometimes, when we lie on the floor for quite a while, discomforted, embarrassed and worried, we aren't as skilled at expressing genuine gratitude as we might be.  

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