I knew even before yesterday happened that it was going to be a long one. Even before the following entered the scene.
My cellphone rang Wednesday evening, a rare occurrence, and K came running to me with it and an urgency rarely seen in him. I mean he ran- this is my anti-athlete, and nothing is ever urgent with him, and the phone was still ringing. “It’s K-!” I will warn you now that there is an inordinate number of people with a K name in my family and I’m not feeling very original this morning.
My younger brother opened with the dreaded words, “Has anyone called you yet?”
Enter dumb pause from me because this is the brother who usually opens with something funny or very quickly after, and here’s his version of comic relief that finally set my brain in motion. “I know, worst opening line ever, huh?” Then it clicked into place. KHC rarely calls me. Our parents are old now, officially old, as both are in their seventies and lately are not known for taking good care of themselves, and have been under a lot of stress in the past handful of years rather than whiling away retirement as they has always planned. “Mom had some weird symptoms for the past couple of days, and they got worse, like numbess in her left hand and she was more tired than usual and I guess it got worse today, so Dad called Dr Cos (short for Cosmo, his first name as he’s a friend of the family, too) who said to take her to the ER immediately.”
Not a lot to go on, and he gave me the information he had, which all came from our dad, who is known for downplaying everything.. Just knowing that my father who is notorious for avoiding doctors, a story for another time, called Mom’s doctor meant it had to be huge. Later I talked to Dad, and there still wasn’t much to go on but he described it as they thought she had a mini-stroke. I never did talk with Mom Wednesday night.
Enter yesterday morning, a different kind of lack of sleep from the usual as I fretted and had nightmares around the situation. S was up before dawn I believe, backpack strapped to his back and poking and Momming me from the start. K was coming in and out of our bedroom, too from a short while later, plopping suitcases and piles of outfits on the floor, because with all the commotion around Mom, I hadn’t packed them for their summer trip to their dad’s who lives in RI. Baby C had her fifteen month appointment scheduled for early morning with vaccinations, then we were to get on the road as soon as Honey finished his business errands. We usually try to leave for the interstate parental switch in DE very early in the morning, so the twelve hours in the car there and back don’t carry us into the middle of the night.
Long story hopelessly (ironic typo, think I’ll keep it) slightly less long rather than short: there we were on the road at noon rather than anytime earlier taking my boys away from me for the next five weeks, longest time ever; my mother in the hospital in CT, impossible to reach because though they said they would admit her overnight, they didn’t until much later the next day, running her from one specialist or test to another, so every time I called I couldn’t reach her. I was worried about my Dad, too, because he’s old school, needs his wife to make his meals for him or he’d just eat continuous ham sandwiches and bags of potato chips, which I confirmed when I asked how he was doing and what he was eating without Mom in the house. And he has his own high blood pressure issues without all of that salt. Of course he is running back and forth to the hospital for updates and to keep company with the woman he has been married to for his entire adult life. Next year they celebrate their 50th anniversary. What is that, their Golden Anniversary? To make it that long, Honey and I will have to live til we’re well over 100.
Anyway, long day, full day, too long in the car, not knowing enough, too many phone calls later, and now that I’m home, awake the following day, awaiting further test results, I’m thinking of getting back in the car on one of the worst holiday traffic weekends of the year and driving back up the East Coast. And I miss my boys already. This is going to be a long summer. Or was yesterday just one of those days?
Update: Mom has good prognosis for a full recovery, and when I finally was able to get her on the phone on Friday, sounded so much better than the day before.