Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tricky Dick

I've not written about Mimi in a long time. This woman, my mother in law, was one of the kindest people I've ever met in my life, but she was a little whack-a-doo by the time her brain metastasis was diagnosed. Oh, in hindsight, there were signs that something was amiss long before the fateful CT scan that came with bitter news.

Her personality had changed tremendously and at times, she got a little mean. Not mean in an adult sort of way, but in the way of a 4th grade school girl. If she didn't like what somebody was saying, she'd stick her tongue out and make horrible faces behind that person's back. She did this to my colleague's mother at a bake sale, and while I agreed my colleague's mom was being a bossy pain in the ass, it's just not acceptable to mock people, and that's what Mimi was doing. I had to pull her aside more than once, with little effect, to plead with her not to make faces at the adults who were present.

Little did I know it was the cancer talking.

By the time we scheduled the lung biopsy and wedge resection, I knew what was up in her noggin. The day of surgery, the pre-op staff came to get me to calm Mimi down. She had it in her head that the patient waiting for surgery across the aisle from her was Dick Cheney, and Lord, she was giving it to him good. Here was a man she detested and she was not going to miss her opportunity to let him know exactly what she thought of him and his politics.

While I never found out what happened to this man, and I deftly avoided eye contact with his family in the waiting room, I hope he did alright. If he heard what Mimi said that day, I hope he forgave her lunacy.

Me, I'm glad I find humor in those memories. In the thick of things I was mortified, but 5 years down the road, I'm able to find laughter in the things she said and did when she was ill.

And she was right--that man was the spitting image of Dick.

9 comments:

Denise said...

That is a funny story. I'm glad you can laugh years later.

Ruth said...

cancer in the brain is not fair, the effects can be devestating to family but glad that now you can look back and remember fondly what sounds like a lovely lady.

SkippyMom said...

My Dad's brain cancer didn't change his personality, but it did rob him of speech and the ability to remember things.

I am glad you can laugh about your beloved Mimi.

Rose said...

I couldn't WAIT to read your post with that title. My husband hates Cheney too and would have applauded your mother for her opinions, however misguided they were towards that other poor man. Loving the snow day here today! And the Vintage Berroco is super soft, isn't it? Can't wait to see your blanket. Pattern or your design?

Gail said...

It is sad when illness changes a person, however, we have just as many good stories about Dad with Alztheimer's and we do without.

We have to find the humor or we would all go belly up.

The Bug said...

Tricky Dick is right - it amuses me that she voiced her opinion so vociferously. Probably she wouldn't have done it without the cancer, but there had to be some satisfaction lurking in there somewhere. :)

Stephanie V said...

Working with seniors - not to mention working on becoming one - makes me realize how illness can affect our personalities. Mostly not in a good way. I hope that I will always be surrounded by folks like you who can see the humor.

sapphireblue said...

My mom did some weird things in her later days. It made me cry at the time, but now I know it was the disease, and some things I can laugh about now.

Sandy said...

and my mom, who had breast to lung to brain metastasis, was in her hospital bed dying, when she looked over at my sister and asked her how she did on that Price of Right show she was on yesterday...huh...and then went on with some other funny stuff, before she was put into a medically induced coma to fade away.. The comedy routine on her death bed was quite funny, ha!!

that was a long long time ago...

that was interesting to read Rudee...and kind of funny...