North Carolina, North Carolina
June 11
Birdwatcher Extraordinaire


APRIL 18, 2012 4:14PM

Stepping into the Unknown

Rate: 46 Flag

 Old Woman

I sit and watch the old woman breathing hard and sometimes grunting and wonder what she is dreaming about. After all, at 82 she has seen many things and I can only imagine the changes she has seen and the hardships she has faced. Raised on a tobacco farm with a mule, two if they had a good year the year before, she helped plow up the hard winter frozen dirt. Turning it over to be fertilized so the sun could brings its nutrients to the surface. She may be dreaming of the first Ferris Wheel that came to this one-horse town. The first time she paid her nickle and stopped on the very top of the world and could see forever. Perhaps she dreams nothing at all.
She fell last night. They keep her so drugged up she doesn't know night from day, up from down, yet somehow she got up and fell. They rushed her to the hospital and it took 5 stitches to close the head wound with nothing for the pain. So she sleeps the sleep of the dead. She does not know she is in a nursing...,wait.., an Assisted Living Facility (wouldn't want to be un-PC) yet, but when she awakes, if she awakes, she is going to be mad. Mad at my wife, mad at her daughter, mad at me and the world yet she will recognize no one and her wraith could just as easily be directed at the nearest wall. She will never leave this place. Not walking anyway. Not in a wheelchair. Only on a gurney and the gurney only goes one way.
I have known this woman for over 20 years. It was hate at first sight on her part. She thought I broke up her daughters marriage and destroyed the happy home of her son-in-law and grandson who she loved and still loves more than anyone else in the family. Yes, he was the Apple of her Eye and I ruined it for her. She did not know the marriage had died long before I came around and they were living a lie. It would not have mattered if she had know. She was born at a time when women stayed with their husbands regardless of how they were treated or supported. It was death 'till you part in her world and I destroyed it it. I was the enemy, for a very long time.
In time though, I could tell that while she still didn't like me, she respected me because I did something her beloved son-in-law never did. I worked and supported her daughter and grandson and they never wanted for anything. A begrudged respect I think, but respect none the less. In time, after she found out  the ex abused drugs and treated her daughter and grandson terribly, she even came to like me. After all, I do grow on people, just ask my mom.
I watched this woman get up everyday and go to work in a sewing plant, never, ever late and never missing a day. The only thing I ever saw her splurge on was her hair. Every Saturday for as long as I have known her, and my wife says for as long as she can remember, she has her hair fixed at the same place, by the same woman, the same way. A beehive hairdo that is mostly hairspray and she sleeps in a hair-net to keep it perfect. 

She also had to sleep on her back so as not to mess her hair up and she is laying that way now. But something is wrong. The hair is wrong. When she fell, blood flew everywhere. The floor, the bed, her clothes but worse of all, her hair. The nurses aids tied her in a wheelchair, took her to the shower and washed her hair and the bee-hive is now gone. Left is a woman that weights a 100 lbs, with a big white bandage over her right eye and bruises all over her body. I wouldn't tell anyone, but even a tough old bird like her has to die sometime and I don't know if this woman, who has as much pride as anyone I have every known, can live in the unknown. I do know this. I couldn't. 

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I'm taking some time off. I have some personal and physical problems that are trying to get the best of me and I have to give them a lot more attention. I'll be back, you can't get rid of a bad penny. Thanks for always being there for me. This place is something else~~
"After all, I do grow on people, just ask my mom."

YES YOU DO!! Speed quickly back to us my friend!! We'll miss ya!! I will too!! I just won't say anything!! :D

Stupid personal and physical problems!! YOU LEAVE SCANNER ALONE!!! He good people! Go get them politicks and such!! ~nodding~
Scanner, this is one powerful post.

Wishing you all the strength you need to get through this.

R--because it is a damn good post
Sorry you're departing, but I do understand. With Neil wailing in the background, I bid you ad0, and I'll be sitting out on the deck with a cold beer waiting when you find the time to return.
This is as real and honest as it gets. You put it all out there, my friend.
You do grow on folks. Your mom must be something else. R
So powerful. When we were babies, we were clueless, living in the unknown and somehow, we adjusted. Even the weak adjust. I think, if you think about it that way, it's less frightening, though I do agree. It's not dying I'm afraid of, it's what comes after. And yes, scanner, you do grow on people! Tend to your problems carefully, then come back and enlighten us with new wisdom. (:
this is super beautiful; you are a born writer!
Excellent post scanner...expertly written and feeling. Very feeling. I wish you and your family well and hope to read you again soon.
Oh, scanner, you know I feel for you. I am going through this with my Mom. Sending warm thoughts and hugs your way. -Erica
I say I wouldn't want to be there, you say the same as I'm sure she has did my grandmother, but she ended up there as well. This is hard on everyone, but what do you do? I hope I will go quickly with my hair done. Fading away slowly....I don't want to do.
Take care of yourself, dude. This is a lot to deal with. We'll see you when you get back.
A beautifully written piece, ScanMan. I will have "words" with God about these problems. My best wishes are with you, my friend. Be back soon. R
All-Best, Kenny. Look forward to a swift, healthy return.

Take as long as you need friend.
Family comes first and foremost.
Sending karma for you to hold up enormous weight.
This place will be here for ya when you need it....
may peace come soon enough to sustain...
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers, Scanner. Best wishes to you and Terri as you support each other through this difficult time. Your writing, even through grief and pain, is jarring. ♥
We'll wait.

All of us.

Go deal.
Very nice writing in this piece. I'm sorry for all you're facing. Hang in there.
I'm sorry she fell so hard. Perhaps the end of her struggle is near. I just know your writer's voice has caused my throat to choke. Be as well as you can be and come back to us as soon as you are able.

Scanner - this post is simply magnificent. So many aspects of it just brought a lump to my throat. The one thing that did make me laugh, though, is "after all, I do grow on people, just ask my mom."
I will miss you, and I wish you godspeed in tackling your personal and physical issues. And God bless the strong woman you write about. You will all be in my prayers. Rated with admiration.
Blessings and g*d's speed to y'all.
Be well, Scanner. Prayers go with you.
Thoughts and prayers with you and your family, Scanman.

The last paragraph--about her hair? Well done.
Man, you are truly a survivor. When all goes wrong around you, many are quite good at erecting the walls, easy enough; this kind of pushes those away. I do not see you doing this -- you're the guy that keeps his cool, his head, heart yet intact. I know that being a man about it is a different thing, now, than what my dad raised me to act. Guys were not supposed to appear like they cared that much. Take time. Breathe. You are an inspiration.
The end. Hard to think about it. I have now been through this four times. It has been different each time. I am glad your mother in law came to like you. I suspect at first, she did not want the change to her world, more than anything else, but in knowing you, her life changed and it came around to be better, more real because she got to know you. Just thinking about it, don't know, but I hope this time will be short and peace filled for all of you who care.
A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.....

We'll be - impatiently - awaiting your return.

.......and what Tink said!

Love to you Scanner. You are sitting there on the edge with a great view. Take it all in and spit it out in your glorious writings.
Good wishes to you and your family. Hope you come back soon.
Hang in there Scanner. My thoughts are with you.
Be good to yourself and hang in there.
Scanner, sorry for the both types of pain you are suffering at this time. Hard to get ready to say good-bye to her, but bear in mind that God will take her in His arms on the other side, and He will comfort and befriend her. That is how I believe my Mom went. Thinking of you!
Come back soon - you will be missed
Scanner,wishes for the best to you and your family..So as in health,love as in your book....Wishes !!!
When you come back I'll keep up again until then take care; great story, or at least well told even if it is sad.

They did something worse to Neil Young than to Dixie Chick him; after he did "This note's for you," they gradually ignored him until many of the most forgetful forgot but some of us still remember and know that he didn't sell out like most.
We are going through a similar situation with my wife's mother, but so far she hasn't injured herself as badly when she has fallen. Very good, powerful piece of writing, thank you.
Scanner~ We'll miss you . Just got your book and transferred it to my kindle via USB. I can't wait to start reading it....
All best wishes and silent "withness", "Scanman". Don't forget ... I'm your mad "Great Aunt Mathilda", the one who ran away to join the circus. Hoping the vibes I and all the circus animals are sending you will help. ALL of you.

Miss you too scanner. I had to step away from the keyboard too for a while just to get my physical, emotional and spritiual poop in a pile. It's necessary sometimes. xo
I missed this the first time around, happy I found it. You tell this story of your mother-in law so beautifully and with so much love.
rated with love
Be well, Scanner, this piece brought back welcome memories of Gwen's last day on earth with me. Thanks.
Here's hoping it all becomes what you need it to be...
I am sorry for the hard time you are going through watching her suffer so. It hurts to watch those we love suffer.
Hugs and love to you and your whole family.
Thank You Auntynae~Peace and Love to you and your family
Ken, I just found this. I apologize for not reading and writing you sooner. It's a lovely piece, a poignant honest piece. You are a wonderful writer.

I'm so sorry Teri's mother is in this situation. I hope she recovers if that's what she wants. We never know what people want when they are in pain. Some fight. Some become tired.

If you can, ask her hairdresser if she'd come and do her hair for her. It's funny...little things like that mean so much, sometimes more than you'd think they should. but they do.

Teri and her mom and you my friend, are in my heart right now. I'm wishing for you all, comfort, peace and love.
What Tink said!
So good to see your work's improving all the time,Ken.You've really worked and it's showing--so impressive. You must be one determined, smart dude.