Wednesday, February 23, 2011
About two months ago, it must have been, my eldest sister did the dumbest thing. Well, not quite the dumbest – my getting a brain tumour was a good deal dumber, it has to be said. Second dumbest then, and no doubt her dumbest act ever. What did she do?
She slipped over on the kitchen tiles, fractured her left shoulder in several places, and did some serious damage to her left hip to boot. She always had a spinal problem I won’t go into because it’s not your business, nor mine really. So, doing all that to her left side, especially at her age (sorry, Jan, age does come into the picture and you’re nearly five years older than I!) was not one of her finest moments. I’m pretty sure as she lay on the kitchen floor in terrible agony, and right up to this moment, she would readily agree with me on that.
Jan and Ken both have led lives where physical activity has been an essential part of their makeup. Ken used to play tennis for years with the Laver brothers, Rod and Trevor, and my other sister Lyn was in Lois Laver’s class at high school. (Now I’m just namedropping on the family’s behalf. It’s a reflected glory sort of thing in the absence of any genuine talent on my part.) If you haven’t heard of Rod Laver then forget it, you’re much too young to be reading this Blob. Go and do something else.
Ken still plays a mean game of tennis and in fact the whole family is so good at all sorts of sports that their trophy cabinet is ridiculous – truthfully, they started taking the cost of the trophies as prizes i.e., the cash, rather than try to find another spot in the trophy cabinet for yet another figurine kicking a football or holding a tenpin bowling ball. I guess they’re one of the few families in the world who have financed a fishing launch solely on the at-cost-to-the-club value of sporting trophies. (OK, that’s a slight exaggeration but you get the point. Ken had his beloved boat long before the trophy cabinets ran out of space.)
And if it’s on TV and involves a bat and ball, or just a ball, or in some cases not even a ball but something with a steering wheel or a propeller, then at least two of the TVs in their house will be following the action. And not only that, they will know exactly where the action is up to even though they’re doing several other things at the same time. They multitask on a scale that would make Deep Blue green with envy.
Anyway, where I was getting to before I so rudely interrupted myself in the tangent to my main story was that Jan and Ken usually take early morning walks along a wonderful walkway above the tidal flats at Currumbin. It’s a glorious spot for coastal people like us. I’ve gone with them a couple of times in the past and would dearly love to go again. But with Jan’s shoulder in roughly six bits, all in the wrong place for quite a while, and spectacularly damaged hip and leg, there were going to be no such walks for a long time.
I’ve never thought of Jan as being especially competitive in that way, but with me rabbiting on about the problems I have had with my right side, what does she do? Upstage me, totally. I mean, look at this she wrote this morning:
I’m having some little victories with my left hand and I feel such a sense of achievement. It still can’t do much – but even a little thing brings encouragement! It’s funny though..... the messages getting through to my hand from my brain are not quite accurate. I can raise my hand to my face now – and the first time I went to touch my mouth, I found that my hand had barely made it to my chin! I couldn’t believe it – I was SURE I was going to touch my mouth!! It’s gradually getting better – I can reach my hair now – just can’t make the hand DO anything with it yet!
OY! Big five-foot-nothing sister, this is my patch! If anyone is going to do uncontrollable things with limb and digits, it’s I!
It’s me. Grammar can be ridiculous.
I’m so offended I’ll have to finish this tomorrow. I haven’t actually got on to the main point of my posting yet.
Sisters! But what can you do? You don’t choose ‘em do you? If they’re older than you, you just come sloshing out of the chute on the day of your birth, and there they are, grinning at you, figuring already how to win the limelight back.
OK Jan, you win on this one. But I have my new achievement with brain-limb co-ordination too, and I’ll have more to say on related matters tomorrow. Right now I have visitors about to knock on the door, and all their limbs work, AFAIK. Whoops – they’re here now. I will have to post this later.