“Did Mother call you last
night?” Dee was anxious to know exactly what had happened the night
before with her Mother and the girl who was staying with her. Evidently
her sister did know.
“Why didn't she call me?”
Dee had always been the one her mother called no matter the time or the
situation. The woman was puzzled as to why she had not been called.
“It happened so fast and
you do live in the country. She needed someone and right then. She
called Genita because she lives close. Genita called 911 and then called
“Well, for crying in the
sink. Genita said Twila got drunk. That had to take some time.” Dee was
“I guess that girl was
quietly drinking while watching television and when Mother tried to get
her up to go to bed she saw she was snockered. When she realized Twila
was so drunk Mother got scared and called Genita, who called 911.”
“And then what? Who came
out?” Dee couldn't get this straight in her mind.
“Oh the police came out.
They knew the girl was drunk so they were looking around thinking she was
on pills or something. Twila was sitting quietly with her purse at her
feet. When one of the officers asked about it she held it to her for dear
life. As it turns out she had her bottle in the purse. Probably, when
Mother wasn't looking she would tibble a bit along until she was out of
“So here I go.” Dee's
sister was laughing. “It is late, I'm in my pajamas, in bed, but I go
over. Sure enough, Twila was feeling no pain.”
“Oh my goodness! She
wasn't rowdy was she?” This was the worry Dee had.
“Heavens no! She was just
pleasantly inebriated. Actually quite jolly. It was just that Mother
didn't know how she would be. One never knows. I gathered her things up
and told her I would have to take her to her folks and that she couldn't
stay with Mother in her condition. She was very peaceful and placid. She
seemed to accept the fact that she couldn't stay.”
“When I took her to her
folk's place and explained to them what had happened everything was okay
with them. They all seemed glad to see Twila and welcomed the girl with
open arms. She was actually sweet and childlike. I felt sorry for her.
That bottle has just the upper hand on her.”
“Has she been in rehab
before.” Dee wanted to know.
“Oh I think so, probably,
more than once.” Dee's sister was out in the work world and had more
contact with everyone, so she would know.
Dee was trying to think
ahead. “So now what? Mother can not stay alone.”
“We will just have to let
her sleep over with one of us until we find someone else to stay with
her.” The younger woman somewhere along the way had become the leader as
far as their relationship was concerned.
“I was okay with that to
start. Why she has to continue entertaining, keeping house, cooking and
sewing, I'll never understand. All the other elderly people are content
to sit around twiddling their thumbs. Not mother.” Dee was complaining
about her mother's independent ways. But her sister was quick to bring her
back to reality.
“Mother has always made her
own decisions and I don't think that will change at this late date. I
think we probably should be so thankful she still has that spirit and
wants to continue with her community service.”
“Oh, I know.” Dee had to
admit her sister was right. “Speaking of community service, I guess she
is planning to help in that booth for the herb festival.”
“I'll think about that
tomorrow, Scarlet darlin'.” With a laugh over the attitude of someone in
another time of long ago in Gone With the Wind, the women closed their
conversation with laughter and a positive attitude just as their mother
always seemed to do and as her Native American ancestors did before her.
The story did not end there
though, as one by one different people in their extended family called
all day long the next day asking for an explanation as to what had
happened. Dee carefully went over the situation trying to make sure
there was no fault left on anyone's part. It happened, no one was hurt,
physically, and things had turned out okay.
Somehow the pain of an
ageing parent could always rest on one's shoulders like the shadow of some
great bird over them. It was too high to touch and grasp but the sweeping
fast-moving thing was there and gone again. It would surely come again and
this was all a part of the nature of things. It would come again until it
came that last time.