My sister is steadily improving after her stroke and today I was able to take her out to lunch. She had to let me push her in a wheel chair, which annoyed her no end, but the home health nurse said it was that or there would be no outing. My sister said that being in a wheel chair would make her look like an old lady (she's nearly 80). The nurse replied matter-of-factly, "You are an old lady, you've had a stroke and you need to be careful for a while."
Now, my sister still refers to herself as middle-aged. I've pointed out that the phrase means being in the middle of life and I've never heard of anybody living to be 160, but I only said that to her once.
I almost ran for the door right then, but I just had to wait to see what my sister would say. (I was praying it wouldn't be "you're fired" because it took me forever to find this nurse, and she is a real gem). My sister leveled 'the look' (a freeze-the-blood-in-your-veins look that she inherited from our mother) at Shannon, who is in her thirties,blond and very pretty, and said in a sweet but deadly tone, "I had always suspected that you were Nurse Rachet masquerading as Barbie."
I held my breath, waiting for Shannon's reply. She leveled a look of her own at my sister and said, "That's right, Mrs. ---------- and don't you forget it."
Shannon and my sister just looked at each other for a moment. In that moment I was thinking how much I was going to hate looking for another nurse.
Then my sister burst out laughing and said, "Honey, don't you think it's time you called me by my first name?" Shannon laughed and said she would like that very much, and I started breathing again.
Sisters. Life is definitely better with them.
Most of the time.