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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 14


“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 me.”

“Well, for crying in the sink. Genita said Twila got drunk.  That had to take some time.”  Dee was still uninformed.

“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 it.”

“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.


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