While at Walmart Monday, I bought Grease for my sister. I knew what I was doing; I have been subjected to hours of Grease in the past. I bought it because my sister thinks I am so nice to her, and therefore I can't complain that it is has been playing in my house since Monday at 1:00pm.
Maybe it is because I am trying to quit smoking, or maybe it is because I need chocolate. But. I feel like bawling.
Melinda* has been a problem in the past. She has screamed so loud that my mother, in a different state, has heard the howls. She has thrown herself on the floor and kicked. There was an incident where I tried to pick her twenty year old body up so that I could carry her to a bedroom and shut the door. I got 'er done, but it took every ounce of anger and strength I had in my body. When I put her in the room I shut the door, and held the handle. When she discovered she couldn't get out, she set on the floor and kicked the door repeatedly while she screamed so long and so loud that she lost her voice. While she raged on one side of the door, I set on the other side with my head in my hands so that I could sob.
I made her go to the bedroom because I had told her that screaming was unacceptabletable at my house, "Debbie has babies, and you can't scream around babies."Because the end of the story is her on one side of the door howling and me on the other sobbing, you can see that she didn't stop screaming.
She needs to know the boundaries, and I did enforce the no screaming rule, but I still feel like a shit hill for muscling a handicapped girl.
She has been with me since Sunday and the biggest problem that she and I have had is that I can't forget that she is here. I have be aware of where she is, and what she is doing. A minor inconvenience can turn into a major blow-out in a matter of seconds. And oh! There are the seizures.
Yesterday, it was time to give my sister a bath. It is somewhat of a process, because it is hard for her to lower her naked self into the bathtub. Her left side is stiff, and it appears that she has to think about what she wants her body to do for a very long time before her body starts to respond to her wishes. She whispers, "dammit. Dammit. Dammit." The whole time she is trying to lower herself into the water, and I just assume she is doing so because she wants to get into the water and past the awkward, "I am naked and my sister is holding on to me" feeling.
Well, at least I know that I feel awkward holding onto a twenty six year old naked woman. Mindy is very modest, and has always been so. She knows that no one should ever see her naked, and yet her condition requires that someone monitor her in the bathtub. If she had a seizure while bathing and no one was there, it would create a world of grief and regret for the female member of my family who was supposed to be vigilant at the time.
I shaved her legs and was shocked at how much hair had grown. I was also amazed out how heavy each of her legs was. She can't hold her left leg up without support, and that hummer weighs at least thirty pounds of stiff muscles that simply want to curl back into themselves. I was afraid I would nick her with the razor.
My sister is never going to live the 'American dream'. She won't get married and plant a picket fence and a crop of children. Her life will forever be stagnant.
Knowing all of this: how can I complain about 72 hours (straight. No breaks. Even in the midnight hours.) of Grease?
And that is why I think I could bawl, but before I do that I am going to take a bath and shave my own legs and relish how lucky I am that I can do that for myself.
* Melinda has cerebral palsy, this affects the left side of her body. She also has some mental retardation. And Epilepsy.