Monday, September 23, 2013


This is a story that goes to show, you can never be too old to still be embarrassed by your parents.  This happened over five years ago, but the story is still funny and my sister and I still cringe.  

Our mother had been ill and spent some time in a rehab facility, where there are wonderful people who work with the grumpy, sore, unhappy and broken patients.  These facilities strive to bring the patients back to around to good. 

Our mother was there because she had been having trouble walking and climbing stairs, something that had came on very quickly.  Therefore she spent a significant amount of time in bed when she wasn’t working with the physical therapists.  The total time she spent in rehab was seven weeks, quite a long time to be out of your normal routine.

As happens with patients who are not mobile, they sometimes get bed sores, unfortunate, but normal in these circumstances.  Her particular malady had a name that syllabically started with the sound of an S.  I’m not in the medical profession, so I don’t remember the name – just that it started with an S sound and you didn’t hear the word every day, so it wasn’t familiar. 

The day came for mom to go back to her own home and my sister and I arrived at the set time to pick her up.  We packed the car with her things and then went back to accompany her out. The facility wheeled her to the door, like they do with all patients, and then she had to get up and walk to the car, which was parked in the front entrance.

It’s a busy facility – there are people everywhere, the parking lot was bustling with people walking to and fro.  My sister had opened the front passenger door for her and was waiting there to give her a hand into the seat.  

As soon as she opened the door and suggested she would help her to sit in the car my mom pronounced LOUDLY “Don’t rush me – I have syphilis”!!!!!


Horrified, my sister and looked at each other and then at ALL the people around us, who were looking at us in astonishment.   

Quickly and equally loudly I stated “No mother that is not what you have”!  She again, not being a quite woman – repeated “You girls are trying to rush me – stop it, can’t you see I have syphilis”?!!

Um, really at this point there is nothing you can do but hope that no one in the parking lot knows us and will repeat this verbal faux pas to another soul.  As far as I know, all is well, it's been a long time now (and fortunately for me, we do not live in the same city).

Mom of course, has been mobile and S-something free since then, a little bout of self mispronounced diagnosis can’t keep her down.

(Picture above off “Have you embarrassed you kids today”)