Stories by local seniors: Left in the lurch

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By Linda Beck
I did not know that the phrase, left in the lurch, originally meant “to leave (a person) playing at cribbage in the position called the lurch.” I’ve never known how to play cribbage, so I haven’t been left in that lurch.
But I think the phrase fits another interesting little episode that happened to me this week. The meaning of the word lurch refers to: “unsteady uneven gait, or to roll or pitch suddenly, or to stagger.”
Well, if I were to try walking even as little as two feet, I would certainly “stagger, roll and then pitch suddenly.” I no longer have an unsteady uneven gait, because I can barely stand at all.
Don’t take this the wrong way…I don’t want or need a pity party.  I’m just setting the stage for another dramatic event in the life of Linda.
My friend, Jennifer, brought some popcorn and came out to the house to watch a movie with me. My daughter had just recently set me up with Netflix so now I can see a different movie about every other day and I won’t have to go out in the heat or cold. Plus, it is a lot less expensive!
The only thing about having company over to watch a movie is that my power wheelchair is the only place to sit other than my recliner. Since I was in my recliner when Jen got there, she sat down in the power chair after she fixed the popcorn and brought the drinks to the TV room.
As usual, we talked and ate so much we didn’t really get into watching the movie. At the end of our visit, she showed herself out as most of my company usually does.
I know she didn’t mean to leave me in the lurch, but she probably was not out of the development when I decided I needed to go to the bathroom. As I raised my recliner, I looked up and realized my power chair was on the other side of the small room!
I was absolutely powerless to do anything unless I wanted to fall, crawl, and wait for someone to pick me up. Several days earlier in the week I had to call 911, but at least this time, the phone was right by my side. I called several friends who lived nearby and caught up with Teresa.  She was in Concord but called her future husband to help me. He was nice enough to come right over and roll my “legs” back over to my lift chair.
I had left a message on Jen’s phone and when she called back, I laughed and thanked her for leaving me in the lurch. She offered to drive back out from town, but I told her my “hero” was coming in the door.
Jen and I have had some experiences like this together before and her first story published in the newspaper was about one of those. She had wanted me to write that story but I had insisted it was “her story” to write.
Sorry, Jen, this is mine, but thanks for joining me and bringing the snacks.
Next time we’ll switch seats!