While Dad was in the hospital, there were many opportunities to sit and talk – and more importantly, listen. Towards the end some of his medications caused hallucinations. We were never sure if we were getting history or electric dreams!
One night at dusk, i was in his room reading the newspaper while he dozed. He quietly awakened and said “Did you know that G was a transvestite?”
I put down the paper.
G was the second husband of my oldest sister, S. He was a tall, painfully thin, bearded stoner. Probably 6’2″, with a 24″ waist – 130 lbs (soaking wet while wearing SCUBA gear). Nice enough guy, but not a man i could easily picture in a dress. Not a man i would want to picture in a dress.
“No, i hadn’t heard that… really?”
Dad got a goofy grin on his face, and nodded his head vigorously. We both got the giggles, to the point where tears were streaming down our faces. He seemed to tire, and was soon asleep again.
Racking this up to another hallucination, i went back to the newspaper and didn’t give it a second thought.
Within days, all hell broke loose for him medically. He was admitted to the intensive care unit, semi-comatose. That night, after going over the medical information with my siblings, i remembered the moment.
Looking at S, i asked “Did you tell Dad that G was a transvestite?”
“Well he got the biggest damn laugh out of that when he told me the other night… giggled and snorted like a school girl…”
And then she and i both got a ridiculous case of the “stress giggles”, which is more than a little bit awkward in the waiting room of a hospital intensive care unit.
* A week after S married G, she woke up and found him in bed next to her wearing a silk nightgown and panties…. both items belonging to his mother. Months later, S asked Mom what she should do. Mom informed S that ‘all marriages have problems, and you just need to make it work’. S stayed with her second husband for 15 years, and never told another soul about it. I’ll probably have more stories about G later… he was pretty special.