Monday, December 12, 2011

Why we eventually had a phone line put upstairs when I was a kid!

When I was growing up, all of my grandparents were, what my children would say today: Ancients!  They were very much older than other grandparents, probably because both of my parents were the babies of their families and separated in years from their siblings.  That was OK.  I loved my grandparents, but then, I was just a kid, and didn't have to worry about them, or carry the responsibility of care for them.  My parents did.

Well, I have to tell you this story - it's kinda sad, because it affected my Grandma (Mum's Mum) and her failing health, but in a way it was a funny story, because it was like the old Charlie Chaplin movies, only this time it was my Dad being banged about and hurt.....

It all started very early in the morning, or very late one night - all I know is that it was dark, and I woke up because I heard furniture crashing in the kitchen downstairs, and my Dad yelling! At first I was scared, because I thought that maybe a burglar had broken in and was going to hurt us, and that was why I heard the furniture crashing and Dad yeling. But it was only Grandma. Or rather a phone call she had made while I had been asleep.

From what I have been able to decipher from the events, the phone rang downstairs in the dining room, when all of us were upstairs in our beds, sound asleep.  Somehow either Mum or Dad woke up and heard it, and Dad jumped out of bed, and started to head towards the stairway, but slid on the throw rug at the top of the stairs, and started to fall downstairs.  He caught himself by grabbing onto the stairway railing, and once he gained his balance, ran down the stairs, with the phone ringing loudly all the time. 

In the darkened kitchen, he tried to run through to the dining room, but stubbed his toe on one of the kitchen chairs, and as it tumbled over, he stumbled and just caught himself from falling over it.  He lunged into the dining room, and nursing his sore back from his stairway incident, and his sore foot from the kitchen incident, he jumped to the phone and its incessant loud ringing.

"Hello!", he yelled into the phone.

"Come quick!  I'm dying", my Grandmother replied urgently.

"So am I!", Dad yelled into the receiver, and then yelled out for Mum to talk with her 'dying' Mother.

Apparently Grandma was dying all the time, and would often call at all sorts of times of day, to let Mum and Dad know how she was doing.  She went on to live for quite a few years after that night --but I have always loved that story--sort of made all the crazy times then more real.

The next week a phone technician arrrived to put a new phone line into my parents' bedroom on my Mum's side of the bed......

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