Last week I talked about what angels fun people are, and this week I want to introduce you to one of mine – the funniest mother I know. On September 23rd , my 87-year-old mother had open heart surgery. She got a new coronary artery from her left leg, and a new aortic valve from a pig – an idea she accepted without reservation because, in her words, “There’s no chance of rejection. I love pork.”
I moved in with mom for two months to help with recovery, taking notes daily of the funniest comments. This is the $#@! my mom said after surgery.
Day 2 Sitting in a chair.
Nurse: Shirley, are you in any pain?
Mom: Yeah. My ass hurts. This chair’s too hard.
Day 3 Visiting hour; me and my sister, Jackie.
Jackie: Okay mom, it’s time to do the breathing tube again…
Mom: Why don’t you just sit down and mind your own business.
Day 4 Visiting hour over; we’re leaving.
Me: Mom, want the water closer?
Mom: Yeah…and push that blowing thing closer. I won’t use it, but it looks effective.
Day 5 Dinner being served.
Nurse’s Aide: Shirley, here’s your dinner! (She lifts the lid on a white plate with a big meatball and a lump of mashed potatoes).
Mom: Eat it.
Day 7 Home.
Me: Mom, would you like a Pixie (Fannie May candy turtle)?
Mom: Nah. I don’t feel like chewing.
Day 9 Back in hospital.
Rob, Nurse’s Aide: Okay Shirley, do you want to get back in bed?
Mom: Yeah, wanna get in with me?
Day 10 About to be discharged again. Nurse explaining that an occupational therapist will be coming to the house.
Nurse: They’ll help you in the kitchen and make sure you can prepare a meal.
Mom: I can open the freezer door and fix a Lean Cuisine myself.
Day 12 Home visit by physical therapist, Felix.
Felix: Hello Shirley, are you feeling better today?
Mom: Let’s just visit.
Day 13 Home. Dinner (leftovers) with family.
Debbie (my sister): Okay mom, we have beef stew, pork roast, and jambalaya…what do you want?
Mom: Pumpkin pie and ice cream.
Day 14 Me straightening up the table for the occupational therapist home visit.
Mom: Don’t move those exercise sheets. Leave them out so she’ll think I was practicing.
And just last week…session with Felix, physical therapist. Practicing leg kicks.
Felix: Oh Shirley, look how strong your legs are…look how high you’re kicking!
Mom: Oh yeah…turn around.
Nothing soothes the soul like a good laugh, so if you got one, thank Shirley Jackowski with a healing prayer for being such a great angel of laughter.
Until next week, think about this from the funniest mother I know: “I know I’m going to heaven because I have hell right here on earth.” --Mom to 7th Day Adventists at the door; circa 1957.
Karol Jackowski, Ph.D., became a nun in 1964. She's also been a college administrator, graduate of New York University, manager of a toy store, author of eight books, painter of religious folk art, and sister to everyone she meets. Please visit her website at KarolJackowski.com.