Have you ever gotten in the car, driven all the way home, pulled in the garage, parked the car and walked into the house only to realize in a PANIC that you have no idea how you got there? You don’t remember a turn, a signal, or a stop sign–you are just happy you are home alive.
Well, imagine if you walk into the house and everyone stares at you–you are standing there clothes tattered, one heel broken, crusted blood on your nose. You smile feebly. You have no explanation. You silently reach for wine and hobble upstairs to draw a hot bath.
That was me. Today. I am not sure of all the steps that led to it, but it happened.
First, a bit of background in case you have a life and have not read all of my past posts. My family has been sort of on a “healing” mission. My father and I are rebuilding our relationship. My mother has found peace and I am lucky to see her three times a week in the office. My sister and I are even laughing together sometimes. That’s all fine and good. But today, all that “healing” collided catastrophically in my office at 2:45 pm. It is a miracle anyone walked away from that carnage.
My father is having cataract surgery tomorrow. We found out that his cataracts were terrible when it took him four hours to find my house not long ago ( he was 20 minutes away.) We immediately had him stop driving until this surgery could take place. So, being the tireless woman that she is, my sister hauled her four kids in the car with my father to bring him to my office. He needed an ECG and a physical before the surgery. Remember the surgery is TOMORROW.
I had run through the scenario last week and thought ” No prob, Mom doesn’t work Wednesdays, there is no way their paths will cross. I will do his ECG, fill out the forms, he will have his surgery and the roads will once again be safe. “
I did not count on last night’s late night phone call from my mother reporting a pain in her belly. She does not complain. Well, Mom, if you are not better, I will have to examine you –let me know in the morning.
Do you see where this is going?
My mother arrived to the office this morning looking beautiful and dressed to the nines–heels and all. She was, however, slightly uncomfortable. After an exam, I decided I wanted her to see a gastroenterologist. Because she is my mom, we got her an appointment the same day at exactly 3:30.
She decided to stay and finish some work till her appointment time. Caught up in my daily rituals of physicals, PAP smears and ear wax removal (oh the glamour), I did not realize that my father’s arrival time and her departure time would be exactly the same.
I came out of a room to find my father staring at my wall of plaques proudly. He turned and smiled at me just as my mother came out of her office ready to leave for her appointment. We all froze–deadly silence that lasted what felt like at least 11 hours.
Then, thank God my sister spoke up authoritatively :” I’m taking Dad to your house and Mom to her appointment. K?” She shot me lasers with the message “you owe me big time.”
I am not sure I will ever know what that 7 minute car ride from my office to my house was like. I can only picture it: my father in the front seat, not able to see a blasted thing yet directing my sisters driving, my mother in the backseat dolled up and in pain, and my poor sister–some cross between Driving Miss Daisy and Speed as she desperately tried to end the pain.
I do know that if someone told me this morning that I would end up examining my mother and my father on the same day, that they would end up riding in the same car for 7 minutes, that the highlight of my day would be the thought of my sister tearing up the hill to my house cursing under her breath at the ridiculousness, I would have most likely pulled the covers over my head and stayed in bed.
Tonight, bandaged and bruised, I tucked Hadley in to this question: “Mama, did Giddo and Teta ever live in the same house?”
Maybe I will tell you tomorrow honey. Mama is very very tired now.