What do we really know about the nurses and aides taking care of my father? A coworker asked me that question on a rough day. I'm riding the wild roller-coaster that goes with long-distance squeeze generation responsibilities. That ride comes with extra guilt some days.
What if Matthew Sharkey was Dad's aide? What if Beth Bryson was his nurse? What if Dad was being kept in a full-body cast at the Rexford Clinic as the prisoner of a criminal plastic surgeon like Dr. Kenneth Bryson episode after episode? What if those evil chauffeur twins, Gunther and Bruno Wagner drive the assisted living van?
Yes, I was having a soap opera flashback to 1980. The names crept to mind first. Long repressed images from the final years of "The Edge of Night" began seeping to the surface, giving reality the tinge of antifreeze. The plots didn't make much more sense after three decades and an hour of Googling than they did when aired in the 3:30 p.m. time slot.
I rarely speak about my years of soap opera viewing. I'm not proud of spending so many hours with tv and needlepoint before motherhood took over. At various times I followed "The Guiding Light", "Days of Our Lives", "Another World", and "The Edge of Night" through snowy, gray Omaha afternoons. Perhaps my current worry is a payback for those wasted-hours.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder