Remember when Jackie Gleason used to say “What a revoltin’ development this is!”. Well now I know what he means. But I’ll get back to that.
I was watching some talking head TV this morning and when the talking heads opened their mouths, they all started in the same way which was, “I think... blah blah blah blah blah”. As I was watching their lips move the Gary Larsen cartoon flashed before my eyes. The one where you see “what people say” and “what dogs hear”. It turns out that the public hears what dogs hear when politicians start to blather.
Have you ever yelled at the TV? David and I do it all the time. He is actually worse than I am because he calls the news desk when he feels they are incompetent or just stupid. All I could think (and I do think), who cares what you think! Take Lieberman – please. He was going on and on about the fact that he thinks we can’t withdraw from Iraq because there will be chaos and bloodshed. What does he think there is now? The US has become merely a third party in a civil war that has been festering forever and our presence continues to make worse. To be perfectly honest (and what do I to gain by lying? You’re not going to elect me for anything), I don’t care what any elected official thinks. They all have their own agendas, which usually include advocating for some special interest, rich contributor, or local very visible positive effort which they can use as footage in the next campaign. But it does not necessarily include being concerned about the lives of your family or mine – unless we are of some political importance. How many of those people are around? Quite simply we need to get out of Iraq and stop trying to think about why we can’t. If Iraqi’s choose to kill each other we won’t be able to stop them. What our politicians do or think doesn’t make any difference. We can’t stop the killing on our own streets so how can we possibly stop it a million miles away—at least culturally.
Anyway, back to the ‘revoltin development. My mom has been in the hospital for six days. She cannot walk because her feet are too swollen and arthritic. They can’t give her the physical therapy she needs. In addition, she is in and out of La La Land. This morning when Aunt Peppy (her twin) arrived at the hospital they discussed the fact that my Aunts, Helene Sophie and Fritzie, couldn’t possibly have come to visit mom because they had died. She seemed OK with that, for about a minute and a half. Then she wanted to know if they hadn’t called because they were in Florida.
“No” Aunt Peppy insisted, “They died”.
But did Sophie go to Florida with Rosalie?”
“No she died three years ago.”
“Don’t be ridiculous”, my mother replied. “They were here last night and if David had been here he could have taken their picture. They were wearing cardboard hats and Aunt Helene looked ridiculous.”
Aunt Peppy gave up. So mom turned to me. “Did you arrange for them to come? It must have been expensive to come all that way.” You used to make arrangements for the President. Did you do this?
“No Mom. I couldn’t do that.”
“Well who did it then?
I thought about it for a minute and decided to tell the truth. “God did it mom.”
“You think so?” She asked
About ten minutes later she was perfectly lucid and we talked about people who had expressed concern about her, and the fact that the doctor thinks she should be in short term rehab until she can get around a bit.
When David and I left the hospital we took a walk along the Boulevard in Mountain Lakes. It is gorgeous day, a little crisp but clear and sunny. When something like this happens and you seem to be facing your own mortality you realize that decisions need to be made while you can make them and even then, who knows what will happen. Here’s what I think. Our generation must find a better way to deal with being old, sick and dying. The politicians who are always thinking into everyone else’s business and bedrooms, (domestic and international) would be better off thinking about dignity and elder care. If they have to think—let them do it about something that will really make a difference. We’re just sayin...Iris