(TMI=Too much info!)
As you may know, my sister-in-law had cancer last year and part of this year—until part of her was removed—but you’ll be happy to know that she still has her ass and she’s cleared for take off, as in cancer-free! I didn’t divulge too much back then out of respect and because, yes, even I have some couth—though not a lot because here we are! Indeed, My Little Mom (MLM) and sister shake their heads, while chuckling, and call me shameless. But now that my sister-in-law’s butt is the bomb again, no worries, I can talk shit again.
Add to this, MLM, who has Crohn’s Disease, which is a bowel thing again, and yes, she’s had parts removed, too. Twice, in fact. But she, too, still has her bump as she calls it, so we’re all good on that front. (Or rather, rear.)
You want more? Oh, I’ve got it alright.
I might pause here to note that I may be a little off-side by writing about such inside information, but you’re reading it. (Exactly. Okay, carry on.)
So, this year … this year, my brother-in-law had cancer. Again, had, because we believe the surgeon got it all and, even though he still faces the chemo part of the process, his health issues were more mid-section and had nothing to do with his anus, at least. But it was still super shitty. Plus, before he could leave the hospital, the doctors had to wait for him to fart to make sure all his plumbing was working, so that counts.
When we all get together for dinner, we check in with each other. It’s like we’re a bunch of hypochondriacs except they actually are sickies. I just try to fit in with my lowly adrenal dysfunction. (Lowly as in humble and as in not high enough.) I know it doesn’t compare, but can you blame a gal for wanting to be included in family customs? Sheesh.
(Lord, just kidding, I’m totally content dealing with cellulite, follicle rebellion and falling asleep while driving, no need to add the serious stuff. In Jesus’s name, amen.)
For financial and functional reasons, my family—MLM, my sister, her husband, my brother, his wife, the foster kid, her two cats, and two dogs—is all moving in together into my sister and brother-in-law’s three bedroom rancher.
(Actually, they’re all there except MLM, who moves in June 1st and who is small but has big personality, so we shall see, my friends, we shall see …)
But we are a close family. When I go visit, I don’t knock before entering. No, I go straight in, make myself some tea, look in the fridge and text my sister with do you have pie and when will you be home? Really close. But this loving living arrangement will test the gumption of this grouping without a doubt!
Sundays will often find us having dinner together (at my sister and brother-in-law’s). Usually, my sister cooks. The rest of us help out by sitting at the dining room table waiting to be waited on while providing entertaining chatter. (Or that might just be me. The sitting around not helping part. But, whatever, too many cooks in the kitchen and all that, right?)
Here’s how the conversation usually goes (be sure to sprinkle laughter throughout)…
So. How’s your bum?
Pretty good, but still, sometimes, it’s not so good.
But still? Get it—butt? Butt, ahhh …
And you, regular or not so much?
Depends on what I eat. If I don’t eat greens twice a day, no poop for you! As in, out of me.
(A few more chuckles.)
My sister passes MLM a 4-cup glass container with gravy in it.
Here, Mom, can you put this on the table?
Mom puts it on the table. The rest of us look at it.
That reminds me. I had canned tuna the other day. Haven’t had it in awhile—you know, because of mercury and now the damn Fukushima radiation thing—and, man, I had some terrible cramps and a night of bad diarrhea.
Hey, how’s C? Any fabulous fibrous floaters?
He’s hardly eated but he farted! Yay!
(When you have some of your innards removed because of cancer, you have to heal before you’re allowed to eat solid foods. Then all the medical staff want to make sure your exit is working properly. Such sticklers.)
Family in unison: Yay!
And so it goes on. There is no shame, no filter, no reservation. We can’t afford to.¹
MLM was a First Aid Attendant for many years, drove ambulance and taught the highest levels of the course. She knows and loves human anatomy. If she’d ever been able to get her Grade 12 English, she’d have become a brain surgeon. Though she didn’t become a brain surgeon, we still rely on her expansive knowledge of the human body, and part of doing that is discussing our medical history at the dinner table while she uses hand gestures to describe our inner workings.
After dinner my sister leaves and comes back with a cardboard box that’s upside down and placed over her head with cut-outs for her shoulders.
She mumbles from inside it: It’s my reading room.
We hear a click and see light shining down.
More muffling: It comes with a lamp.
The rest of us are laughing. (We laugh a lot together.)
Still guffawing, she removes her reading room and tells us how C can’t sleep when she’s reading so she’s made herself a reading room out of this box and pen light.
You could read in the living room!
Nah, it’s more cozy in bed! Plus, I get high on my own lack of oxygen. Cool, hey?
These are the sorts of regular antics that go on with my family.
Then we talk about growing gardens, the benefits of organic and ways my brother is going to save the planet. I’m just going to do my part by entertaining the world (and repurposing bath water), but that still counts, and MLM is going back to school because she can, and my sister-in-law’s store is doing well. And we talk about all the regular normal things most other people probably talk about first. Or maybe only? Which is kind of boring because who doesn’t laugh when someone accidentally rips one? As in “passes gas” because farting is funny, people!
Don’t believe me? Try it in public sometime. Guaranteed laughter to follow.
And if you can’t laugh your ass off, you might just die way too serious.
And that would be a shame.
What have I (re-)learned? We all poop, people. (If we’re lucky.)
Homework: Stay lucky; eat fiber.
¹Fine Print: Just because we talk shit at our table doesn’t mean I talk shit in public. Very much. Don’t worry, I won’t embarrass you with public potty talk if we ever meet. Much.