Life in Triage

I have news for you, Forrest Gump and your mama, life is only a box of chocolates for so long, and then it becomes a mine field.

A mine field.  And, still, you never know what you are going to get.

Which is scarier than when the box was really filled with chocolates.

With age, comes crazy issues.  Some older people have an aversion to the sensation of water on their bodies.  They must be reminded to shower.  Others, who were meticulously responsible accumulators of wealth fall prey to scams promising easy money.  And, sometimes, even choices on a menu are too daunting.

There is an art — which I have not learned — to coaxing an older person to the right decisions.  And there are right decisions — yes to shower, no to scams.

There is also a way to guide the choice for lunch while still letting them be in control.  SOB is great at it.  I am — um — impatient.

“So, you will have the turkey club for a change of pace.  And fries, because they taste good.”

“Are you sure about the fries?”

“Absolutely, Dad.  Besides, look around at the rest us hungry people.  We will be happy to snarf your fries.  You brought antacids, right?”

BOB, SOB and I often discussed various ways of dealing with these issues without making Dad feel that he isn’t as “independent” or in charge as we try make him feel.

It is a tough brew.  The main ingredient is love, cut by family meshugas, simmered to sheer impatience, then mixed with wanting-to-fix-everything, followed by a dash of why-can’t-things-be-the-same-as-20-years-ago, drizzled with a fine reduction of resolution and understanding.  Served at room temperature.

A complicated stew, indeed.  When served, it looks way better than I cut a brisket.

But careful of the exploding ordnances along the way.