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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: Something Wrong Here
By Carol Penhorwood


Her pain was becoming more intense with every passing day. As the primary caregiver, I would carefully measure out those teaspoons of morphine, trying to keep her comfortable, but my efforts were in vain. I had no choice; I had to call for help.

When the EMTs arrived at our home, my mother was in bad shape. They asked to see what I had been giving her. I showed them the prescription bottle of liquid I had been doling out with such care. I could tell by the way they looked at each other that something was very, very wrong here...

The pharmacy had given me cough medicine.

After a short term in the hospital, it was soon apparent that my mother would be moved to a hospice where they were better able to care for her last days. My siblings all lived out of town, but being a close, loving family, they faithfully arrived to stay each weekend in our home so they could not only spend time with our mother but also support me.

Even though Mother was unconscious all during her stay at hospice, I was convinced she could hear at least some of what we said to her. There were even times we would gather around her bed as her children (and the in-laws were as much her children or more) and sing hymns we knew she would love. Oh, those were precious times together!

One evening as my sister, Jeanne, and her husband, Joe, my husband, and I were leaving the hospice parking garage, we ran into a little dilemma. We couldn't get out! It was late in the evening and all the attendants had gone home. The parking gate was down and wouldn't let our car go through. There was a coin box to the left of the driver's window, so Joe asked Jeanne for a quarter, but still the gate arm did not go up! In went another quarter. Nope. No movement. We kept feeding quarters into that box and could hear them hitting bottom. But no result.

Finally Joe and my husband got out of the car and dismantled that parking gate. Joe got back in the car and as the car moved forward just a few inches, the stub of the parking gate arm went up!


They quickly reassembled the gate and we scurried out of there!

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This article has been read 716 times
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Joanne Sher 01/23/10
A couple of oopses there, eh? I was engrossed in both little tales.

As I read, i was sure the main point of the story was going to be about your dear mother - when you started talking about the gate issue, it was almost a "let-down." Your tone seemed to change almost too soon. My thoughts, anyway - take 'em or leave 'em.

Very good descriptions!
The Masked Truelovers01/24/10
It started as a tear-jerker and ended on a light-hearted "OOps". I agree it was an unexpected change in tone, but a funny ending.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz01/26/10
I enjoyed reading this. It made a serious situation humorous.
Carole Robishaw 01/26/10
Very sorry about mom, but the ending was very funny. Good job!
Ruth Brown01/26/10
Isn't it just like our Heavenly Father to put some humor into our lives right when we need it. Good story, Carol. Love,Ruth
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/26/10
You made me stop and think about when my mom and my grandma died. A good writer brings in the reader with memories from a different view. When Grandma died, I was heartbroken, but there were times when something funny was said or done. It helped ease our pain. Good job.
Shirley McClay 01/26/10
Two big oops with very different results. One in pain for a loved one.. one in painful embarrassment. Ouch.
Rachel Rudd 01/26/10
The experiences you share were quite touching. I did wonder about the pharmacy oops...did anything else happen there? Otherwise, an interesting mixed emotions piece.
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
I understand looking at humor during painful times; went through it myself. Quite an interesting entry.
George Parler 01/27/10
"Though tears come at the mid-night hour, joy comes in the morning,". . . or at the gate. Which ever come first. LOL

Nice job with this emotional ride. Kudos!
Bryan Ridenour01/27/10
Nicely written, and the "gate" is a great oops tale! Well done!
Jan Ackerson 01/27/10
Well written and superbly on topic.

The mood change threw me--I think it's because I wanted some closure with the medicine incident.

How wonderful that there can be humor within sadness!
Mona Purvis01/27/10
What I love about this entry is that the family is all in it together. I could see this family loving and caring for mother. Singing. And I could see them in the garage with egg on faces. Just real life. Great entry.

Barbara Lynn Culler01/27/10
Good story,
I also wanted closure on the medication error.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/27/10
I like how the family "showed" love with their presence. Your ending made the story all-the-more real.
Eileen Knowles01/27/10
Nice entry. Your oops entry really got me thinking. The oops of the cough medicine was huge and the oops in the parking garage was so minimal in contrast. Makes me want to pause and remember what's really a problem and what are more inconveniences. Thanks for the reflection :)
c clemons01/27/10
It is something wrong here, it was definitely two different stories. If you wanted to include the gate story, at least give us a bit more tie in. An anaology or something. Keep writing.
Julie Seeto01/28/10
I was thrown a bit with the medicine oops and wasn't expecting the other oops - in comparison they didn't seem to belong together.

However, on my second reading, I felt quite different. Mother was being looked after and the family were able to have a laugh together. "Laughter doeth good like a medicine." Nice work.