Funny bones by Maureen Locher

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Maureen Locher photoMy recent sojourn in Nursing Home Land has not been without its high points. Amazing how God places humor into even the dark days if we are keen enough to recognize it.  

Picture this: My brothers and I sitting in a room filled with people who haven’t been carded in 60 years. It’s Happy Birthday Sing-a-long Time. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…” Afterward, a lady who’d been forgotten in the festivities brings the slight to someone’s attention, and so, we all have to sing the whole song once more. As the master of ceremonies announces that the birthday girl is 91 years old, my 91-year-old mother says, under her breath, “Big deal.”

During same said program the mayor of the fair city joins our table. Good public relations, no doubt. Nice lady. As she begins to take her chair next to my brother he notices a notebook on her seat. Reaching to remove the notebook my brother is not quick enough: She sits on his hand! To say that I think I will die of gut-splitting laughter is quite the understatement. I valiantly try to retain a modicum of decorum, but I fail as the memory continues to tickle my funny bone.

And it doesn’t help matters when other little funnies crop up. Every few songs the singer announces the titles of the upcoming play list. “And this next song is ‘Brown Coffin.’” Hmm…perhaps not the most elderly-correct song to be sung at a nursing home?

All in all, the program was quite pleasant, but a tad long. Wheeling my parents back to their rooms one brother quizzes us, “You know which song was my favorite?” Without missing a beat my other brother and I chime in, “The last one!” My parents didn’t raise dummies. Smart you-know-whats, but no dummies!

One day my curious Catholic dad questions his satin-black-Yamaka-wearing nursing aide who is obviously an Orthodox Jew, “Are you a Mennonite?” Where did that come from? Happily I did not witness this, but after hearing of the exchange and the curt answer given, I make a point of being as nice as possible to the man whenever I see him. I thought it was supposed to be kids who say the darnedest things.

Wednesday has become the day I whisk my mom away to a nearby restaurant for lunch. One such day when I arrive, an aide is choosing another blouse in which to change my mom because the top button is missing on the blouse my mom is wearing. My mom says, “It’s not that bad, is it? I want to be risqué.” Oh my, is this me in 40 years? OK, Mom, you be risqué. Show off that racy white cotton bra to all lookers. And as my mom steps out of my Jeep in the restaurant parking lot, I notice she has on her pink slippers too. What a wild woman!

Two months ago how did I amuse myself?

Copyright 2010 Maureen Locher

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