My mother has always maintained solid vision. While her hearing may be taking a stroll between Selective Street and Helen Keller Avenue, her vision remains keen. When I visit her, and we watch her beloved Seattle Mariners, she always knows when her favorite baseball player, Franklin Gutierrez or “Cutierez” is at the plate. It’s not when the announcers call his name, but rather, when she sees his striking good looks from her recliner, well over ten feet away from the television set. (She seems to be able to spot a good looking man from 6 blocks away.) So, when Gutierrez struts to home plate, she makes the announcement. “Guty’s up!”
Recently, my mother had to watch the Mariners from a hospital bed because of a recent scare. She was admitted for a couple of days, undergoing many uncomfortable tests but has since been discharged with an expensive bill of health.
Although hospitals are seldom a place where laughter is in abundance, our mother made us all laugh during her first day of being admitted. A nurse began asking mother several questions or to perform certain tasks, mostly checking on her senses and level of consciensness. What day is it? What month, year, squeeze my hand, push on this, pull on that, toss that tissue in the nearest basket, who was the Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1973…..etc, etc, etc. My sisters, Anne, Patricia, Maggie, as well as my wife and I watched with pain in our eyes because we knew how uncomfortable this beautiful, 87 year old mother of 13 was during the interrogation. That’s when mom converted our eyes filled with uncertainty to ones filled with the laughter we inherited from her. One of the last questions from the nurse was, “How is your vision?” With an incredulous look on her face, mom gasped, “What!”. “HOW IS YOUR VISION?” Almost sounding agitated by the endless questioning, my mother answered, “Oh, I don’t care about fishin!”
We all busted up heartily, providing us a moment of relief, and when we told her why we were laughing, she busted up as well. Sadly, the nurse didn’t think it was so funny, especially when I requested the next question for our mother should be about her hunting skills.
We knew she’d be home soon at Anne’s, comfortably watching “Guty” from her recliner with the sound turned up as loud as possible for no reason whatsoever.