There are times in your life, just before the wave breaks over your head, when you have a brief, precognitive moment; something that tells you you won’t like what’s about to happen. That happened to me this morning when my dad called my mobile phone. My dad doesn’t call that phone. He calls the house and leaves a message. Still, if he’d only called my cell phone and not the house first it mightn’t have raised an alarm. But the house phone had rung….Robert was in another room and I was too lazy to jump up and check it, assuming it would just be some telemarketer. It stopped ringing and then….then my iPhone buzzed in my hand. “Mom & Dad”, the readout proclaimed. And that’s when it happened. This, I understood in a flash of utter clarity, was not going to be good. This phone call could not possibly encompass anything I wanted to hear.
And then Dad asked me if I was sitting down.
My mom had a heart attack.
She’s in the ICU. They’ve put in a(nother) stint. She’ll be there two or three days. He didn’t have any more info, and I didn’t ask. I’d gone into crisis mode, where I just listen and say, “Okay….okay” into the phone like I’m taking someone’s pizza order.
So now I wait. What I really want to do is go to that hospital right now and tell them to fix my mommy and fix her good and that this had better not happen again. Because I’m not ready. I don’t want things to change. I don’t want the stage of life where you’re always waiting for that next phone call; that next crisis, until finally the phone calls don’t come anymore and you wish you had them back.
Robert says that if they caught the heart attack and fixed the problem with the stint then everything should be fine. I hope he’s right. I know it could’ve been a lot worse. And I hope that we’re all sitting in my parents’ living room in a couple weeks laughing and wondering what we were ever worried about. But you can’t make any assumptions; can never quite breathe a sigh of relief until it’s well past and so, for now, I wonder about our new reality. I worry and I wait. It’s all I can do.