I thought I had it bad looking after me ma. She has us run ragged; up and down the stairs day and night because she refuses to get out of the bloody bed.
She has her breakfast dinner and tea up there. No sooner am I down the stairs, trying to have a bit to eat meself, when she’s banging on the floor with her walking stick. But, holy god, some people have it worse than us; Jackie Byrne for example. I bumped into her in Lidl the other day. The poor girl looked worn out. I say girl, but my god, she looked like an old woman…
- Howya Bernie.
- Jackie, long time no see. How are things?
- Not too bad Bernie, they could be worse I suppose, how’s your ma?
- She’s grand Jackie, just old age getting her down. She’s taken to her bed since Christmas and she has us all running after her like blue arsed flies.
- Cry me a river, Bernie; sure me da’s the same since me ma died.
- I was sorry to hear about your ma Jackie; lovely woman she was.
- I know, I’m heartbroken Bernie.
- Ah Jackie, and there’s me giving out about my ma and you’d give anything to have yours back.
- It’s alright Bernie, sure we all give out about our folks at one stage or another, and I know how you feel. Da has me run off me feet, I haven’t a minute to meself between looking after him and me own.
- How’s he keeping these days?
- He’s in good form but missing me ma something terrible. she did everything for him, and now I’ve to carry on where she left off. I’m his sole carer now. The joys of being an only child wha’?
- I thought you had an older brother.
- I thought I did too, but since Leslie moved to Waterford, we’ve hardly seen him.
- Does he not come up to visit or help out with your da?
- Are you having a laugh? That lazy fucker wouldn’t scratch his arse, never mind help me da.
- It’s a long way from Waterford but.
- Not too far to come scrounging for a few bob off me poor ma and da when his dole ran out.
- Oh, is he still out of work?
- Work? Would ye stop. If there was work in the bed, that fella would sleep on the floor.
- You should ring him, ask him to help out sometime.
- I’ll wring his neck Bernie, that’s about it. Look it, I’d better run, me da will be waiting. It’s shower day today.
- You’ve to shower your da by yourself?
- Yeah, jesus help me. I never thought I’d see the day that I’d be scrubbing me da’s willy, but there you go. Haha; You never know what’s round the corner.
- Ah Jackie, I don’t know how you keep your sense of humour with all you’ve to do.
- If I didn’t laugh I’d cry, Bernie; and if I start crying, sure I’d probably never stop.
…and I think I have it bad 😦