Monday, February 21, 2011

Recycled Teenagers

Every once in awhile, Mom can be quite stubborn and bull headed.  (OK, every once in awhile? Who am I trying to kid? I just liked this "E" drop cap and had to find an opening word that started with "E"!)

We go to church twice on Sunday's. A couple of weeks ago, we came home from the afternoon service to an irate Dad. "Your mother fell again," he said as we walked through the door. "She fell cleaning up the mess you should have cleaned up."

I had been sick for 5 days. Saturday was the first day I was feeling better, but I still didn't want to spend much time upstairs, for fear of getting Mom or Dad sick. I had noticed there was something on the floor that needed to be cleaned up, but just didn't have the gumption to do it.

Mom knows she isn't supposed to lean over because her balance isn't good and she is prone to fall. But for some reason, she decided she just had to clean that mess up, at that time.

You guessed it. She fell.

She didn't get hurt badly, but she couldn't get up by herself. She asked Dad to bring a chair close to her so she could pull herself up. Instead, my 80+ year old Dad lifted her up from the floor and put her on a chair, straining his back.

I have a troubling tendency to blame myself for things that are other peoples' responsibility. It causes me a lot of anxiety and is one of the things I've been trying to change about myself. The mess she had insisted on cleaning up had happened while I was sick, and it sat there. Why couldn't she have asked Husband or Son to clean it up while I was out of commission? And why couldn't it have waited one more hour for us to get home? I was upset about the way Dad had blamed me for her fall, and I walked away and went downstairs. I didn't realize he had hurt himself. If I'd known, I would have understood that was the reason he was putting the blame on me, and I would have acted differently.

The next morning, he wanted to go to the chiropractor, so I called in. When the receptionist asked what he needed to be seen for, I didn't want to gripe about them harshly, yet I didn't want to make excuses for them and take the blame myself, so I decided to reference an old joke of Dad's. When he was about 60, he liked to tell people he was a Recycled Teenager. So, I told her that I live with a couple of Recycled Teenagers who like to be rebellious sometimes.

I think Dad appreciated my use of his joke.

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