I have decided that we are, without of doubt, the loudest family that ever existed. This could easily cause a problem when we are gathered at The Barclay but most of the inmates (Dad's reference) are dead .....I mean, deaf so we seem to never bother anyone plus we have the added benefit of Mom's room being at the end of the hallway. My two older sisters and I have decided to make a 7 pm visit to see Mom. This has become our habit when my older sister flies in from Booneyville, USA. We pick her up from the airport and then head to the nursing home where we turn the place upside down with laughter, hooting and hollering and then we head out to eat somewhere to turn that place upside down with more hooting and hollering. Okay, so we are a little obnoxious.....all right, we are very OBNOXIOUS. This particular visit we just so happened to be accompanied by my one sister's old high school friend. She is used to our loudness and laughter because she spent a lot of her teenage time seeking refuge at our so called normal household. It is touching to know that she always visits my parents when she comes back to the US (she lives in Norway now) for a summer visit.
Upon entering Mom's room, I am struck by the irony that she has been bedded down for the night while it is still daylight. We always tell Mom how we have been seriously marred by the fact that she used to put us in bed while it was still light out and while we could hear the neighborhood children still playing outside. This was shear torture as a kid! Now that I am a mom, I completely get this necessary act of child abuse. It was the only way of maintaining any form of sanity as an exhausted young mother.
It takes us awhile to actually get to Mom because there is an additional mattress on the floor next to her bed to protect her from a possible night time fall. We have to struggle to move it and place it somewhere in the already cluttered room. Then my two idiotic sisters fumble with the bed-raising button to raise the bed from the floor position to a higher position but neither of them can see because one is too stubborn to admit that she needs reading glasses and the other is constantly leaving her reading glasses elsewhere (remember, this is not done very quietly either). So I just stand there and watch the idiocy play out knowing full well that they will finally give up and hand it to me, the much younger sister with the most excellent eyesight ( I will always enjoy the secret weapon of being the youngest). Now we can greet Mom. This is not your typical form of a greeting, though. We turn into clucking hens. "How are you Mom?" cluck cluck "What's that in your eye?" cluck cluck "What is that thing on your neck?" cluck cluck "Who parted your hair that way?" cluck cluck "Let me fix it." cluck cluck cluck CLUUUUCKKKKKKKK. Mom loves the attention as we noisily fuss, pluck, pick and smooth out any unsightly hygiene problems.
We settle in to our usual hooting, hollering, laughing and reminiscing. Our stomachs hurt from all the laughter. Our faces ache from all the smiling and our eyes are red and blurry from all the laughter-tears. We are so loud. Loud enough to wake the dead. Uh oh, someone said "DEAD" and with this, the three sisters suddenly and ever so eerily, as close sisters do, simultaneously remember the DPCs (Dead People's Clothes, in case you forgot). With this, we run to the closet to see what the latest deadly drop off has produced. Oh my! These canary-yellow-double-knit- polyester-size bazillion-pants are ever so lovely. And then, my sister puts them on. My poor mother is laughing so hard that nothing is coming out of her mouth. My sister is 5' 9" and the ever-so attractive pants come up passed her chest to almost her chin. This sends us into wild and uncontrollable hysteria. Not only that but two of us can fit into the canary bloomers together. Fortunately we don't attempt the latter because then we would all need to wear Depends and that would not be an attractive sight. Who in their right minds would wear that and why does Dad seem to think Mom would wear that????? The best part is when the visiting friend, once she stops laughing at the hideous pants, asks us what in the heck are DPCs? This sends us into a frenzy of loud explanations where we all talk at once and then we all finish each others sentences all while our friend is hanging her mouth open and trying to keep up with the DPC definition. Then she says, "EEEEeeeewwww!" after fully comprehending this ew-ish event.
We kiss Mom and put the room back the way it was and we start our long walk down the hallway. We become somber until my one sister does an imitation of herself as a crotchety old lady talking to her only child who will come (she hopes) to visit her in a home. This sends us into more loud hysteria. Then I claim that by the time I enter a home, I will have a severe case of Tourettes and I do an imitation of the various things that will come out of my mouth (this is easy to do since my husband and children claim that I already suffer from this disease) and my other sister claims she'll be dead. This is not so funny but what the heck, we laugh anyway because everything is just soooooooooooooooo funny. I feel really sorry for the people in the restaurant where we are headed.
By the way, be glad my brother is not in this mix because this would thrust us into a higher level of loud obnoxiousness.