April 27, 2009

Slow Down, You'll Get There Soon Enough

The men in my husband’s family are all varying degrees of crazy. I think I told y’all that they only have boys in that family. My husband's sister is the only girl in a sea of males and they used to tease that she was adopted. She took it as an insult but after meeting all of those loony guys I think she should have found it comforting to know she had a chance of being sane.

There were four boys in my father in law’s family and they passed away in reverse order. My husband's dad was the youngest and died at 57 from a brain tumor.

The oldest uncle has hung in there for several years very lonely without his siblings. Unlike some families they were very close and did everything together.

They call him Speed because he was always slow. The other boys started calling him that and it stuck.

Speed has had several health problems for a few years now with dementia being one of them. His wife probably should have taken his car keys away some time a go but I don’t think she wanted to realize he was that bad.

He shows up at the doctor’s office when he doesn’t have an appointment. The nurses think it’s funny and told Cora, “Oh we just work him in. I guess he just wants someone to look at him.”

They have never seen an old guy take his clothes off so fast. She said, “We can’t keep clothes on him.”

One morning in the wee early hours she found him curled up in the fetal position in the driveway, again, naked.

He was put in the hospital a few weeks a go for pneumonia and one day the nurse came in to find him naked looking in the closet. He said he was looking for his pajamas and was tired of wearing that little gown. She found him some scrub pants and then he was happy again.

Speed stopped eating and taking his medicine so they sent him home. Hospice has come in to take care of him. They haven’t been able to cure his pneumonia and he doesn’t have much time left. He’s 83, the oldest any man in his family has lived. Maybe taking your time and not being in a hurry is what it takes to live longer in my husband's family.

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