My kid Brother, Bert, turns 76 this week. I called him in his room at the VA Nursing Home in Amarillo, Texas this morning. I last saw him in 2002 when he first entered the VA and, though not ambulatory, could still get around in his wheel chair. Not so for the past year. There is something wrong with his legs to the extent that he can't turn himself over in his bed. Curiously, but fortunately, he has not developed bed sores.
Though he did not have a strong voice, his conversation was clear and precise. What he seems to miss most, in this condition, was the opportunity to play chess and scrabble. He does have a 42" Samsung TV which provides him with satisfactory entertainment and distraction.
We chatted casually for about 40 minutes and to my questions, he filled me in on some of the problems that have visited his male children. He asked me nothing about me or my family. This is probably common with hospital bed residents who have body tubes permanently in place in a four-wall existence.
A nurse came into the room with some mashed potatoes for his lunch. He wanted to keep up the converation but he was beginning to hack and wheeze a bit so thought it was time to give it a rest. We wished each other happy birthday and said bye, bye.