Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Padre has Pulled up Stakes

Well, I thought I'd put the news here before it was hashed over social media;

Madre briefed J & I a couple weeks ago that Padre had been practicing and was now going to be showering upstairs. Yup after many years, he is leaving us in the basement to shower upstairs.

Simultaneeously, my fork dropped to the plate and Jaden shouted:
"WHA? "

Our reaction to this sudden, news reaked havoc on J & I's Post Tested &  Stressed  Shower Demeaner by Padre nightly, and sent Padre screeching  backwards in his assigned wood, Captain's Chair seat.

After being in the war, the sound of sound has left him with some weird quirks that have been the subject of many a night's pillow talk.

Readers, this change is HUGE. Monumental. It's a game changer.

For all of J's short and my long, long life Padre has showered downstairs.

To be honest, I had seen some signs of retreat. But had tucked them away as mere mental lapses.

But now that it was literally out there on the table; it was starting to come together. Little clues had been taking place that were making me wonder what was going on.

(padre mid project)

For instance,  I'd noticed his dirty socks, once put carefully in a bin labeled: "Dad's Dirty Socks." Which is really just for say because his socks are the cleanest dirty socks to enter the laundry room.

But, anyway, his grey Carhardtt socks,  would be in the place that we put things when we were going to go down the stairs later: between the banister and the wall at the top of the landing, and didn't want to go just then; make one trip later with all the stuff. There were his personal items as well.

I thought he was starting to possibly get amnesia and placed them there then failed to move them on down to the laundry room.


 it was a sublte reminder that, once cleaned, he wasn't getting them back up and in his drawer so it was a silent strategy he had gleaned from the Vietnam and other wars he'd heard about.

One day I was showering and I noticed his floss missing.

ME: "hm. He must not want me using his floss."

I'd made a bad habit of flossing in the shower like he did and then leaving it on the ledge- twice. Along with my long hair, it could possibly plug up the shower. And so this was something that had been discussed over dinner some months or years previously.

It wasn't until I saw one dish of soap that I wondered where the other two had gone off to.

Now it was all becoming clear.

The sound of his flip flopping footsteps would no longer

ME: "Do you think this is really the best time to talk about the change?" I said looking at J.

Mom: "Well, with his surgery coming up we just couldn't have him walking up and down the stairs."

J: "Well, just Great!" he said throwing his chair back and shaking his head.

ME: "Hold on, here. I thought you would be glad to not do the Padre Pre-View of the bathroom before he flopped down the steps."

Readers, this mental check list is just a small one- his towels were left to him, his bath mat, also left for him.

No pools of water from a shower curtain not sealed like a letter to the President from the CIA.  (To save the orange linoleum floor from peeling up off the floor.

Other critical criteria:

Our towels hung up and the toilet flushed.

Pretty simple. Sorta. Because when the toilet is flushed it gets really cold so you end up waiting for after the shower and if you have a short term memory, well, Padre would come and find the bathroom toilet unflushed.

Padre also did an inspection of the basement. And we'd feign we were asleep. Which didn't change anything except that we could tell mom we were asleep, been shook from sleep and told to hang up a towel.

Actually, I lied. I have been in a deep sleep after a bad case of something and had Dad intercom me about J. using his bath mat or something like leaving a surprise for him.

Now, in the blink of an eye, it was over. Our night time rituals were changing and I was/am worried about the ramifications. Like keeping the shower whiter than Cloroxed socks.

ME: "So why are you upset J.?"

J: "Well, I was starting getting used to showering after him."

ME: "So ya wouldn't get in trouble for leaving a mess?" I looked at him with the mom look.

J: "No, cause whenever I showered after him, I knew I was getting into a brand new, clean shower."

That is a good feeling.

Yes, Readers, it's a sad day. Despite the successful surgery Padre had, he has weeks of healing and then physical therapy.

Due to this I have been trying to get down some important information that would help us in the even something happened.

Me: "So did you get down and scrub the floor first or start with the side walls?"


"What about that really light drizzle you would shower under?" I asked figuring I would finally learn  how he avoided the being frozen, in milli-second time scalded due to the flusing of the toilet right before jumping in the shower. Or some inconsiderate upstairs was un- knowingly causing you a heart attack;  had scalded the hide of your back side and you were clung to the top of the ceiling.- Not the coolest obituary in the book, but interesting.

Padre: "That? Oh, that was just the water dripping down off the mirror I would use for shaving."

Finally the riddle had been figured out. To think, that if Padre had gone in his surgery, I would have forever thought that he had somehow washed his hair and body meticulously clean under a single, small stream of water.

The morale here, I believe, is to ask your parents questions about their lives. Get their stories. Record them. Don't just ask about the resusitation question- get creative. You never know what you could learn.

Oh, and P.S. - Padre would take a patch of shower per night to clean. Then work his way around the shower each night.

Oh, and J. asked if he wore his flip flops in the shower.
"Nah, I had my spot cleaned off by then. However, when I was in Vietnam......"

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