There are things you come to accept as “the way” to do things, because that’s how they were done by your parents. It necessarily follows these “things” subscribe to their own irrefutable logic. This is a story about one such “way.”
My Mom became unfortunately ill while visiting my brother and sister-in-law over Mother’s Day weekend…dizzy, nauseous, feeling ever-so-close to vomiting.
As Steve was taught to do, as Mom had done for all of us, he helped Mom to her bed, a bucket in hand.
As he passed his wife in the hallway, she asked, “What’s the bucket for?” He stopped for a moment and said, “Oh, it’s a thing from my childhood. I’ll tell you about it later.”
As he tucked Mom into bed and set the bucket on the floor beside her, (You know the function of the bucket now, right? Wait, it gets better.) Mom said, in a weak, sickly voice, “You did remember to put about an inch of water in the bucket, didn’t you?”
Steve relayed this story to me over the phone as we were both driving home from work the other night. I immediately began laughing.
Me: “You forgot the inch of water?!”
Me: “How could you?”
Steve: “Do you remember what it’s for?”
Me: (Cackling with laughter) “Yes!”
In unison: “To make the bucket easier to clean!”
As I struggled to catch my breath from laughter, Steve pointed out how incredible it is that Mom not only perfected a “way” to protect and nurture the sick and pukey, (Who has the energy to run to the toilet to puke when you’re that sick, anyway?) BUT ALSO had the foresight to be clean about the whole situation. (Hey, you can still be tidy; yes, even when there’s vomit involved.)
The good news is that Mom actually never needed the bucket and is, in fact, feeling much better, thank you.
Should you have any “this-is-the-way-we…” stories to share, I’d love to read them. Mostly so I can feel a smidge less weird. Thanks for sharing.