Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Samples!
This is from my current work in progress. I don’t have a good title for it yet, so suggestions are welcome.
Joshua compared the unpronounceable name on the orange bottle with the list the nurse had left. How was anyone supposed to keep track of all these medications? His dad had fifteen prescriptions to organize. Some had to be taken once a day, some twice, some with food, some on an empty stomach, and this rice-sized thing had to but in half. Luckily the nurse had made a chart with names, doses, and special requirements for each drug. If it sorted chronologically, it would be even better. Joshua had to match the bottle with the list before dispensing. He was making his own chart to document when each pill was taken, so they didn’t miss a dose.
He found the correct listing and ran his finger across the chart. ‘One pill a day before bed. Take with water.’ Joshua pressed and turned the cap. His arms trembled.
This was hard enough with his capable mind, but his dad’s semi-dementia would never be able to handle it. He looked around the kitchen and his gaze settled on the newspaper cartoon that had been tacked to the refrigerator for twenty years. The edges of the paper had yellowed and curled, but no one bothered to throw it away. Now he didn’t dare make too many changes around the house. They might disorient dad more.
Joshua had thought he’d spend a couple weeks with dad while he had his chemo treatments, making sure he was taking his meds, and arranging for cleaning and meals. But after talking with the doctors and nurses, he knew it was going to be more than that. Dad might not be able to live alone if his mental capacities continued to deteriorate after his treatments.
Although tonight, he didn’t feel much better than Dad physically. His arms were so tired he could barely twist open bottle cap. He shook one pill on the table, then filled a glass of water. Even his legs ached. How could his legs be sore when he’d been sitting in the canoe?
“Dad, I’ve got you’re last pill for the night.” Joshua winched as he walked into the living room. Even his bum was sore. Maybe it was the hard seat. His dad lounged in his old recliner with his feet propped with an extra pillow on the footrest. Joshua handed him the pill and the glass of water, then pinched his ankles to test the swelling. The skin looked strained, but not any worse than this morning when the nurse checked him over.
“Whatcha watching?” Joshua lowered himself to the nubby green couch that had been the featured background in almost every family picture he could remember.
Dad downed the water and set the cup on the end table. “Tigers game starts in half an hour. They’ve got all this bally-hoo on before.”
“Sounds like my kind of night.” Joshua grabbed the corduroy pillow and stuffed it under his head, ready to veg out in front of the game. He suspected if he fell asleep here, he wouldn’t be able to get up until morning, but that was a risk he’d have to take. He was already too comfortable to make the journey to his bed.
“That Sidney sure is a sweet girl,” Dad said during the next commercial.
Joshua had closed his eyes, but he cracked one open to peer at his dad. “Really, dad?”
“You’re single, she’s single.” Dad shrugged.
Both Joshua’s eyes popped open at that. If he had been able to move, he would have sat up as well. His dad was playing matchmaker? He’d been pretty sure the underworld wasn’t going to freeze over earlier this afternoon. Of course, he also hadn’t envisioned winning a canoe race yesterday either. “She’s engaged.”
Dad grunted and thumbed the volume up on the baseball game.
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