My father-in-law lives with us now. He was diagnosed with cancer and had become very weak and frail. He didn’t feel safe living alone anymore, so we brought him to Texas to live with us.
He sits in his room all day, saying that he is too tired to get up or that he is too weak to do things for himself. So, I cook for him every day, my wife bathes him, we take him to all of his doctor’s appointments and wait on him hand and foot.
I had a gut feeling that he just wants to be taken care of. I believe that he can do things for himself, but he wants a woman to wait on him hand and foot, and since there are two women in our house, he’s hit the jackpot! He’s old school, so he is use to be served by a woman.
As time passed, I noticed that my father-in-law was gaining weight, and started looking healthier. (Because I am cooking three meals a day for him!) I knew he was getting better, but he still kept saying he did not have any strength and could not do anything for himself, and he would stay in his bedroom. (It could also be because he never expected his daughter to be a lesbian, and he had not accepted that she was married to me yet. But oh well!)
I kept telling my wife to encourage him to wash his clothes, bathe himself, clean his room, but when she would mention it to him, he'd always say that he was too weak and he just didn't have the strength. There were days he would say he could barely stand. I knew he was playing possum, but I didn't know how to prove it.
And then the day finally arrived when my gut feeling was proven to be true! Oh my God, it was a great!
My daughter Taylor Paige went into the garage to take out the trash, right? So... She comes RUNNING into the house yelling "Mommy!!!! There's a snake in the garage!!!!" I jump up instinctively to protect my baby.. And then...... I.......... stop... "A….. Snake?" Um...... Ok..... So...........
I'm standing there, thinking, right? My mind is spinning!!!! I put on some sweatpants, my boots, my big coat and grab my umbrella because now I have to go stand in the rain outside and look INTO the garage from the driveway because I AM NOT walking into the garage from the inside of the house.. The snake might slither into the house, and then what the heck would we do!?
I walk towards the front door, and Taylor is following close behind me holding onto my coat. I turned to look at her and asked, “What are you doing??” She says, “I’m going with you, but I’m scared.”
Jesus.. I stop, turn around and run in the bathroom to tell my wife, who is currently in the shower that there is a snake in the garage! “Babe! Taylor saw a snake in the garage!”
She slowly wipes steam from the shower door, and looks at me through the spot she just wiped clean with BIG EYES, "A snake???" By now I am jumping up and down, coughing and about to cry!!! “Yes! A snake!” She says, "Tell Dad".
So, I run to Dad's bedroom, Taylor is close behind me, "Dad! There's a snake in the garage!" He smiles and says "Ok." He puts on his big black thick soled old man shoes, jumps up, grabs his cane, says “Let’s go!” and heads for the garage. Almost skipping! I was like looking at him like, “Huh?” But, ok.
Dad goes into the garage from inside of the house. Taylor and I go outside from the front door and walk around to the garage. We both stand in the driveway freaking out as we watch Dad move like a Cougar through the garage looking for the snake!
Dad puts his cane down and starts slinging boxes, big packs of tissue and paper towels, cat litter, cat food, dog food around in the garage like he is NOT 83 years old with stage four Metastatic cancer looking for that darn snake!!! I yelled from the driveway outside of the garage, "Dad! You're not scared?" He laughed and said, "It's just a snake."
I was thinking, “What?!”
I pull the trash can so that Dad could look behind it, and jump back just in case, because Lord knows I am ready to run screaming down the street if I see the snake move!
Now, here comes wife, peeking through the garage door! I tell her to come on out. She creeps out and starts asking us questions, "What does it look like? How big is it?" “Heck I don't know! Taylor ran so fast from it she didn't have much information about how it looks except it was curled up, opened its mouth at her and slithered away.”
Dad asks my wife to take the handle of the rake and shoves it through the shelves we have in the garage. She tells him to wait so she can change her shoes in case she needs to run. If that snake moves, we are all running!
Dad tells her to just stick the rake in between the shelves, and then.. All of a sudden, he says, "THERE IT IS!!!"
Taylor and I start screaming and jumping up and down holding each other. My wife is jumping around and trying to run back into the house.
Dad starts stomping the damn snake with his old man shoes. Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
He has his foot on the darn snake and is looking at us all like we are nuts! (Bunch of damn girls I am sure he's thinking.)
He grabs the shovel, chops the snake’s head off, takes a napkin out of his pocket and picks it up. (Why do old people always have tissue in their pockets?)
Taylor yells, “It's still squirming!!!” We are squeezing each other even tighter now! Dad shakes his head.
He asks for a bag, I'm yelling at ay my wife, "Give him the bag over there!!!" I'm still jumping up and down, Taylor is laughing and jumping too. My other daughter is upstairs looking down at us in the driveway through her bedroom window, and she is jumping up and down too. I was looking up at her thinking, “What the hell are you jumping and screaming for? You’re in the house!”
My wife hands him a bag, and I tell Taylor to get it and put it in the garbage outside. Taylor cries "Why me??"
My wife yells "NO! We need to double bag it!" As if the headless snake may escape and slither back into our garage. (Insert eye roll here)
So she double bags the headless snake. I slowly give it to Taylor who takes it out to the street and puts it in the garbage.
Dad says, “It was poisonous, but it was "little bitty" so it wouldn't have done much harm.” ...
We were exhausted! I needed a drink, and I don’t drink!
As we walked back into the house, my wife says, “So, he can’t walk. Can’t bathe himself. Can’t clean his room. Can’t do anything for himself, huh? You were right!”
I laughed, winked at her and said, “If he wasn’t here, we’d never be able to go into our garage again! So, I’ll take it.” Dad saved us, so it was only right that we saved him too.
Dad was more active from then on, and we continued to wait on him hand and foot.