Breaking things

Friday I got a rare call from my father to tell me that Mom’s tooth had come out, and he thought I ought to come and look at it. Is there a rule somewhere that things like this happen over a weekend? I went out to Bickford, and found that one of her front teeth had broken, but that she was in no pain. It did look awful, though. This is the third or fourth time Something Has Happened when we can do nothing about it it due to day of the week. I did call first thing Monday, leaving myself a note–CALL DENTIST–in my chair so I’d get hold of the office first thing so Mom could get in for a temporary tooth. But the gods were laughing heartily at us: the dentist is out of the office all this week! Mom keeps showing me that it’s broken, and I keep telling her we will go on Monday and hope it can be fixed.

Today I got a call that Mom’s glasses were broken; the stem of one bow was broken off, not just a missing screw. I took the glasses to my optometrist’s office, and–o joy!–the optician was able to solder the bow back on so Mom will have her glasses first thing tomorrow. I was afraid we would have to order a new pair, and wait and wait, but this was simple. These little things that they used to take care of themselves can add up. I noticed again today that Coco the dog was leaving splotches of blood on the tennis ball when I threw it for her, so she has an appointment Tuesday to get her mouth checked. It could be gingivitis, a cut tongue, or a “growth.” Tumor? Do hope with me that it will not be a tumor.

Dad was a little confused today. I had mentioned yesterday that his 89th birthday was coming up. He said today that someone had mentioned he was going to be 89 on his birthday, but that he was really going to be 90. I, severely mathematically challenged, did a quick review of dates, and reminded him that he was born in 1921, so he would be 89. Dad frowned, suspicious (and who could blame him? My reputation as a numbers dunderhead goes WAY back), so we got out his driver’s license so he could see the year. “You’ll be 90 in 2011,” I said, and he, now convinced said, “I did the best I could,” which is quite right. Should I have pursued this? Or let him think he’d be 90? I sort of hated to think of him telling people the wrong number, though. What if he wanted to put an announcement in the paper of his 90th birthday (lots of people do)? Would I change his birth year to 1920? Amazing all the things that can go through your mind. Anyway, he knows, and I hope he wasn’t too embarrassed. It reminds me that, good as he can seem, he’s not the same guy anymore, even when I want him to be. Then Dad remembered that I’d been looking for the keys to the car he’s giving me, and he immediately pulled them out of his briefcase and handed them to me. It seemed funny to me that he was confused about old information (his birth year and age, but then remembered a short term memory fact about the keys. The more I spend time with my parents, the more I realize how little we understand the working of the brain.

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One Response to Breaking things

  1. lindamortensen says:

    The brain is one of those things that I categorize as “magical” because so little of it is understood. It is very strange to think that you dad could have such a recent fact right at hand and an old one so mixed up.

    I certainly hope that Coco will be okay. A terminal or critically ill Coco would be a tragedy.

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