Friday, January 30, 2009


In our church, there are a few older couples. Of course, eh? One in particular has been in the forefront of our minds lately. The wife--I'll call her Dite--is a fireplug and a dynamo, always on the move (though considerably slower than before) and involved in lots of things, from helping out at the schools to working with the homeless to volunteering at the hospital. It was in the latter capacity that she was working a couple of weeks ago, in the gift shop, when she suddenly fainted. She's NOT a fainter, by the way. On the way down, she apparently hit her head on the counter and ended up in ICU for a couple of nights. She's being really coy about the medical stuff (typical for someone in her 80s) so no one is completely sure what the full story is, but she's been having a great deal of trouble with dizziness since then.

Another friend at church contacted us earlier this week. She had been at Dite and Bert's house and noticed that they have no stair rail on one side of the staircase in the house. She asked if Beast and a few others would get together and go take care of that. They live in a split level, so there are actually two staircases next to each other and it's the railing between them that's missing. So, if Dite lost her balance and tipped that direction, she'd actually fall down two flights.

Pretty basic fix, though. Except Bert is extraordinarily prideful. This couple has not had no garage door for at least 15 years--just plastic taped over the opening--in spite of several (and I mean dozens) of offers to fix it or help him fix it. They park outside. Dite herself has been unwilling to host gatherings in her home, and I'm beginning to guess that perhaps there are other repairs that need doing and she's embarrassed about them. It's not that Bert sits around--he's as active as she is in various things, but he's not capable physically anymore and refuses to accept help.

So three big boys, Beast included, appeared on his doorstep last night and assessed the stair rail situation. This is a life-safety issue, not an embarrassment thing, and they are G O I N G to F I X this.

I have strongly suggested Beast never to behave this way. I included a couple of other men of our church in that strong suggestion, for all the good it will do.

And the starkest contrast? They are approximately the same age as my mom, who has spun into yet another dramatic health moment.

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