By Mike Redmond
— We said good-bye to Mom the other day.
Oh, no. Not that. She's still alive and kicking. Watch your shins.
It's just that there's so much basketball on TV these days that Mom has more or less disappeared. It happens every year. She plants herself in front of the set and doesn't really emerge except for quick meals and infrequent bathroom breaks (around the family she is known by her tribal name, Iron Bladder). She watches the games in real time, delay and highlight mode. It's all basketball, all the time, and we really don't see her until a new NCAA champion has cut down the net.
This year is a little different in one respect. Instead of watching at the family home, El Rancho Redmond, Mom is traveling around visiting relatives and monopolizing their TV sets. She started the tournament at my sister Amy's house, caught the sweet 16 round at Aunt Sharon's and the elite eight at Aunt Margaret's. And the rest of the tournament she'll catch back at Amy's house, which has been her actual residence for several weeks now.
You see, Mom fell while watering the chickens, and broke two bones in her back. Well, we call them bones but in terms of structural integrity they more closely resembled blackboard chalk. I don't know what's holding her together. Velcro, perhaps.
Anyway, after the fall and the surgery to put ol' Humpty Grumpty back together again, her doctors strongly advised - which is to say ordered - that she take it easy. Another fall could be catastrophic. They also said no lifting of anything heavier than a washcloth. And they highly recommended she move off the farm.
So we sibs got together and hatched a plan for Mom to give up the agrarian life for one of comfort and convenience. Naturally, this went over like a lead balloon. Mom was as determined to go back to her little grey shack in LaGrange County as we were to get her out of it. This is where the bruised shins enter the picture, by the way.
Eventually, though, we got Mom calmed down and installed at Amy's, and it's a pretty good deal. Amy and her family (husband John and of course the kids, Deniece and Denephew) fixed up the finished basement into a suite complete with bed, couch, and a TV with a screen the size of a billboard. It's a pretty sweet suite. You've heard of Man Caves? This is a Mom Cave. Or, as my brother-in-law calls it, the Old Bat Cave.
So what's the plan from here? Well, after several weeks of close personal contact, Amy is content to let Aunt Sharon and Aunt Margaret handle her ... I mean, to let Aunt Sharon and Aunt Margaret be the hostesses for a while.
After which I'm sure they will be more than glad to lateral to someone else, by which time Amy's blood pressure will have gone back down.
Meanwhile, my brother P.D. is looking for a house in LaGrange for Mom, and I'm ... well, I'm out of the picture for a while recuperating from some medical procedures of my own. Boy, did I time that one right.
And Mom? Like I said, she has disappeared, going deeply into basketball land. She'll be back when it's over, and good thing. The Old Bat Cave just isn't the same without its resident Bat.
© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.