I’m home. Lord God almighty, I’m home at last. The asylum (aka rehab facility) let me out last Friday, releasing me into the capable hands of my friend Lin Lindly, a bona fide member of what daughter Rocki calls my “village people.”
It was a tad sad saying goodbye to all the PT and OT helpers who, frankly, ran out of things to teach me on how to function at home in a wheelchair and walker. I became an expert at strapping on” The Beast” (leg brace), pivoting and balancing on one leg until the doctor says I have another leg to stand on.
Rehab was a positive experience. These things can be if you set your mind to it. The only downside was my need for an open window, which meant hearing all the big-city noises, such as trash trucks, sirens and construction equipment. The noise alone made me long for my peaceful place on the coast.
Being home means patiently accepting a certain amount of assistance (i.e. with showering) and other chores. I will try to behave now that I’m on home turf.
Readers have certainly responded to my “shout out” for happy mail. Here is one that is so cool because Judy Bull seems like a twin sister, and I’ve never even met this gal who writes a column called “Bull By Bull” for a newspaper in Sisters, Ore. She lives alone on a farm with several animals, and she is obviously as stubborn and independent as I am. She loved reading about my escaping the clutches of PT people so I could enjoy a fast wheelchair ride down an incline at the rehab place. Judy sent me comments written by her mother in her baby book. Get this: “When I was 15 months old my mom wrote in my baby book under Obedience: very poor; under Response to Punishment: you simply don’t respond. Then at 4 ½ years, she wrote: You are simply incorrigible.”
Yep, Judy is my kind of gal, and it’s nice knowing I’m not the only one who drove her mother nuts. Consequently, the following day brightener:
• • •
Things My Mother Taught Me (author unknown)
My mother taught me about a job well done. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning." My mother taught me about religion. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
My mother taught me about time travel. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week." My mother taught me logic. "Because I said so, that's why." My mother taught me more logic. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
My mother taught me foresight. “Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident." My mother taught me irony. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
My mother taught me about the science of osmosis. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper." My mother taught me about contortionism. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
My mother taught me about stamina. "You'll sit there until that spinach is gone." My mother taught me about weather. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
My mother taught me about hypocrisy. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!" My mother taught me about the circle of life. "I brought you into this world and I can take you out."
My mother taught me about behavior modification. "Stop acting like your father!" My mother taught me about envy. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
My mother taught me about anticipation. "Just wait until we get home." My mother taught me about receiving. "You are going to get it when you get home!" My mother taught me medical science. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."
My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on: don't you think I know when you are cold?" My mother taught me humor. "When that lawnmower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
My mother taught me how to become an adult. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up." My mother taught me genetics. "You're just like your father." My mother taught me about my roots. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
My mother taught me wisdom. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand." And my favorite: my mother taught me about justice. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"
• • •
As I write this at the dining room table in my own quiet home overlooking the ocean, there is this warm feeling all around me: it’s called gratitude.
Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor” (Dancing Moon Press). The book (with all proceeds going to Rotary International) is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]