Mom threw herself down the stairs

My mother threw herself down the stairs.

It wasn’t my fault. I need you to understand this.

Also, she is fine. I thank you for your concern.

She is, as the children would say, so very extra. That means she’s dramatic — it skipped a generation. So of course she threw herself down the stairs. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a steep or high set of stairs. She wouldn’t have done it otherwise.

Actually, she wouldn’t have done it if she could see. I’ve told you she’s developing cataracts. She won’t do anything about it, because she’s terribly afraid to go under the knife, especially when it’s her eyes. I suppose I can understand her apprehension, but she’s going to break her neck.

Sass has already announced her plans to move in with her grandparents during college breaks. Her primary motivation is preventing her grandmother from going down the narrow, steep stairs into the basement. Not because there’s anything terrible lurking down there, but because it’s where the washer and dryer are, and she’s afraid that her grandmother will fall, trying to carry laundry up or down the stairs.

And she decided this even before her grandmother took a tumble. I’ll never get her to come home now. I might have to take to doing all their laundry to prevent her from breaking a hip.

Anyway, we wanted to see one of the local high school plays, and of course we were running late — I had to work. And I’m always late. I was even late to my own wedding. I’m hoping to keep the streak up, actually, and be late to my own funeral.

We entered the theater as the house lights went down. That was mistake number one. And Grandmama was in the front. That was mistake number two. We were in a hurry, rushing to find seats and sit down before anyone noticed us. That was mistake number three.

Three strikes and you’re out, right?

Since we were trying to be stealthy, of course we made a scene. Actually, Grandmama makes a scene no matter where she goes, so I probably should have expected this.

As we started down the stairs, I thought about how very dark it was, and then it occurred to me that Grandmama probably couldn’t see a blessed thing. I reached out to take her shoulder and guide her down the shallow, long steps.

I reached out and grabbed nothing.

I grabbed nothing because she had already gone splat and was rolling around in the aisle, during her best impersonation of that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” lady from the Life Call commercial. The curtain had gone up, and a poor child was on the stage, trying to act and keep a straight face while half of the audience was hissing “is she OK?” and I was trying to haul Grandmama to her feet and determine whether she had broken or injured something.

I hauled her into a seat and checked her limbs for broken bones.

“I’m fine,” she hissed, slapping my hands away.

“What were you doing?” I said. “You know your eyes are bad! You should have waited.” My fright had morphed into irritation, similar to when the kids did something potentially dangerous.

“You pushed me down the stairs,” she said.

I know someone who is doing her own (redacted) laundry.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at swallace@pafocus.com)


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