An eyesore, that’s what it is – the screen door flapping in the breeze is a real eyesore. To Grandpa, that is. This morning, I got a call from my brother (aka Uncle Jay) about that door, and sure enough, the squeaky Grandpa gets the door fixed.
Jay asked if all the parts were there. I thought they were, but I really wasn’t sure. I’ve been too preoccupied with other aspects of Grandpa’s care to even remember that the front door is broken until I slam it shut into place when I leave for the night.
That door has been broken since the springtime when the wind caught it and nearly pulled it off the frame. It’s still hanging on, but only by the outside hinges. I think it might have busted when Eric was heaving Grandpa up or down the front stairs or when we were carrying groceries in from the van.
You see, we don’t have a handicap ramp, but we do have Eric who is strong enough to lift Grandpa up and down the stairs in his wheelchair. However, he would have only been able to hold onto one thing at a time – either the screen door or Grandpa’s wheelchair. Can you imagine? There goes Grandpa. Wheeeeee! Bye, bye Grandpa. Don’t let the screen door hit you – or your wheelchair – in the rear!
Well, last night Grandpa called Uncle Jay to complain about the broken screen door. Claire was Grandpa-sitting, and I can just see the scene unfolding. They were probably watching some deep sea diving program on the Discovery channel, when suddenly, out of nowhere, Grandpa became disgruntled again about the broken door.
He has a phobia about that door. He’s worried that mosquitoes or flies will get in. He’s more worried about neighborhood gangs noticing a property “in disrepair.” He has told me on no uncertain terms that the broken door is an open invitation for gang activity – that we are just asking for trouble. He’s convinced that the neighborhood hoodlums will see it hanging askew and plot to break into the house in the middle of the night.
Yep, that unsightly door will encourage them to walk right in the house and take all his valuables. Next thing you know, we’ll see black-hooded thugs running around the block with a walker or drag racing up and down the street in a hospital bed.
I wouldn’t have let Grandpa talk to Uncle Jay about it, but poor Claire fell for the bait. Grandpa figured he’d complain again because it has done no good to complain to me. It’s true. He knows I’ll say what I’ve been saying for months, “Jay’s in charge of the door, dad. He knows all about it.”
So this morning Uncle Jay and I had a lively discussion over the whereabouts of screen door parts, broken dishwashers, and furnace filters that need changing every month. Things I’m sure I would have eventually thought about if I wasn’t so busy thinking about medicine, meals, and monthly budgets.
Screen doors, ha! The least of my concerns – but definitely first on Grandpa’s “most urgent” list.