Thursday, December 10, 2009
Esther Returns ... Once More
I mentioned that Esther and Sam had adjoining rooms at Menorah Manor ... separated by only a curtain. You also might remember that Sam is very hard of hearing ( deaf, by human standards) ... and over the last few months, Esther's voice was barely a whisper. It was a match made in heaven ... she couldn't speak and he couldn't hear.
About 6 months ago, I got a call from Sam.
"Your mother wants to talk to you about something, Joel."
"What is it?"
"I don't know ... she won't talk to me."
"Okay ... I'll come ...."
"Hold on ... here she is."
"Wait ... Dad ... "
Too late. He gave the phone to Esther.
There was barely a whisper on the phone.
"Mom. I can't hear you. Is Dad right there?"
"Mom ... I'll be over in an hour. I'll TALK TO YOU THEN."
For some stupid reason I was screaming as if that would help her talk better.
It was 6AM on Saturday. I got dressed, headed over to the nursing home and arrived in the room about 7:30. Sam was watching TV with the big headphones I bought him. I leaned over and pantomimed that I was going in to see mom. He nodded and screamed, "GO SEE HER."
Mom was lying in her bed and had the phone STILL resting on her shoulder next to her ear. Keep in mind that Esther had not been able to move her arms and legs for about a year ... much less hold an object like a phone. Dad had apparently missed that fact and decided to watch TV and just let it sit there.
I put the phone down and bent down as close as I could.
"Mom? I'm here. What did you want to ask me?"
She whispered ever so faintly but loud enough for me to hear.
"I want a divorce."
"You .... what?"
"I want to leave your father."
I stood up straight.
"Where would you go? Down the hall?"
"Mom ... why do you want a divorce?"
"I hate him."
"No you don't."
"Yes I do."
"Why do you hate him?"
"Because ... he's sleeping with the nurses."
"He's ... what?" Okay ... at this point I really almost lost it. I could hardly keep a straight face."He's sleeping with the nurses?"
"Yes ... that's right."
I leaned back and looked through the curtain at Sam. He was still on the chair with the headphones on, pants unzipped, no teeth, snoring and a line of drool was making it's way down his stubbled chin.
I looked back at Esther. "I really don't think so."
"I will Mom ... "
"I want you to ask him ... now."
I stepped back into Sam's room, removed his headphones and woke him up.
He looked at me. "So? Did you find out what she wanted?"
"Yes." I tried to whisper."She thinks you are sleeping with the nurses."
"What? She wants her purses?"
"No." I was nose to nose with him whispering." She thinks you are sleeping with the nurses."
"She curses? Don't I know ... she is always ..."
"NO." I lost it. "SHE THINKS YOU ARE SLEEPING WITH THE NURSES."
Outside the door ... laughter broke out all the way down to the nursing station.