The day had become unexpectedly hot by the time the wheelchair taxi arrived with Anthony at noon. I rushed out and said hi to him through the taxi window and then stood waiting for him to be manoeuvered out of the back of the taxi but it was taking such a long time that I ran out to the yards and let all the poultry out. When I got back to the taxi, I realized why it was taking the driver so long to get Ants out; he wasn’t in a wheelchair!
Grrrrr! As the taxi driver and I tried to get a very immobile Anthony to use his walker to take the few steps onto the electronic ramp thing at the back of the taxi, I exclaimed a little to Ants and the driver about the lack of a wheelchair and the driver couldn’t understand why the nurses hadn’t put him in one either. (I found out later that Ants had refused).
Anyway, despite this, Ming and I managed to get Ants to an outside table where we all ate lunch. Ming was sullen, Ants was silent and slumpy and I was hot and bothered. Oh well, the corned beef and salad was a success. Eventually it got too hot outside so Ants came inside (he had recovered his mobility) and we had a cup of tea in the kitchen where a couple of attempts at conversation were hampered by Anthony’s rather mumbly incoherence. But. yes, it was evident that he was happy to be home. Then Ming decided to put on an episode of Wooster and Jeeves (he had recovered his humour) and I left the two boys to it because, when all three of us are together, there is now a new tension. I happily withdrew to do the dishes and hang out the washing.
I could hear Ming’s laughter but not Anthony’s as he has forgotten how to laugh of course. because of the rotten PDD. He used to absolutely crack up at this show – and that was only a year ago. At one point I heard Ming, yell out (not unkindly) “C’mon, Dad, have a laugh!”
Then I had to ring the taxi people to change the booking from a wheelchair taxi to a sedan to take Anthony back to the nursing lodge. Ming soon went off to milk the cows and I watched some of the show with Ants, then reminded him that the taxi would be coming soon. He immediately became despondent and demanding that he should be able to try staying overnight and, for the millionth time, I explained that I could not manage him in the nights because he was too heavy and we almost had an argument. Then the taxi arrived and I helped Anthony out and he walked using his home walking stick and shrugged my hand away in this new nasty way he has developed.
The taxi driver was someone we hadn’t met before and, when I explained about the wheelchair taxi mixup he did what many people do and said, “This bloke doesn’t need a wheelchair – look at him. He’s fine!” And Anthony said, bitterly, “Some people don’t think so.” Of course the taxi driver could see that Anthony wasn’t fine at all but he was being kind to Ants and I appreciate that. However, this kind of remark is really unhelpful when you have just tried to explain to someone that they are in a nursing lodge because they are not fine. Argh!
Then a very funny thing happened. I was trying to fold up Anthony’s walker and in order to do so I had to remove the basket. The taxi driver, being a gentleman, offered to help and leaned forward to take the walker and somehow the basket, that I was holding in my other hand, got caught in his fly (you know the front zipper of jeans). The trouble is, I didn’t know this because I was looking at Anthony, so I was tugging at the basket, not realizing it had hooked itself into this man’s fly. It was only when he yelped that I saw what was going on and I quickly let go of the basket so that he could untangle himself and then I nearly collapsed in hysterical, apologetic laughter. And then I just could not stop laughing – as I was saying goodbye to Ants, as I was paying the fare – it just kept bubbling up and out of me and the taxi driver was laughing his head off too.
As I said one last goodbye to Ants, the laughter hit me again and I buried my guffaws into his chest as I hugged him, then pulled away to see if he might be smiling. He just looked at me with his shark eyes before they zoomed off.
He has forgotten how to laugh.
Well, I haven’t!