Courage at Twilight: Banana Pancakes

“Could this really be the end?” Dad wondered aloud to me.  He could not even pivot on his feet to point-and-fall into his chair, and his legs trembled on the verge of collapse.  His sudden decline accompanied his cold—he tested negative twice for Covid antigens.  Yesterday was Wednesday, my long City-Council-meeting work day, and when I walked through the door at 10:30 p.m., Mom sighed with a drawn look, “I’m glad you’re home.  Your dad had quite an adventure today!”  Dad’s adventure was not watching hummingbirds on his back patio with Lone Mountain in the background, but a runaway walker crashing into the fireplace brickwork and Mom calling neighbor Brad to pick Dad up off the floor, which took several attempts.  He could not rise from his newly-elevated recliner, even as I strapped the new sling around his torso and pulled hard on the handles.  He could not walk to the stairs, but sat is his walker shuffling his feet as I nudged him forward.  He could not, of course, ascend the stairs, and his arms and legs trembled and shook as I pulled up on the sling with all my strength on each step.  (The quote for the stair lift was $14,000, which means we will not be purchasing the stair lift.)  He could not get into bed until I lugged his legs up and in.  He could not cross the bathroom after his shower this morning, when I wrapped him in a towel, turned him, and pointed him in a controlled fall onto the walker seat.  Mom murmured “I can’t do this” several times, foreseeing what she would face when I was at work, and she is right: she cannot do it.  I listened all night for panting groans and shuffling feet, and darted to his room at 5:00 a.m. when he was part way back to bed, about to collapse, and I grabbed him and dropped him on the mattress and hoisted his heavy lame legs into bed.  So, is this really the end?  I do not think so.  But the end grows forebodingly closer, and I feel like I am staring down the long dark rifle barrel of inevitable imminence.  While Mom helped him dress, I cooked up my daughter Laura’s “Foolproof Pancakes” with a twist of mashed baby red bananas and half whole wheat—and with bacon on the side, because why not?  And Dad enjoyed his banana pancakes and bacon.  And Mom enjoyed her banana pancakes and bacon.   Me, too.

The Sling.

8 thoughts on “Courage at Twilight: Banana Pancakes

  1. kannasingasong

    I am amazed. You had a fourteen hour day, arrived home at 10:30, and found that all had not been well in your absence. All night you listened to see if you were needed. In the morning you got up and made homemade pancakes and served it with bacon. That is profound dedication.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

I would enjoy hearing from you. Please drop me a line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s