Saturday, February 9, 2013

Breathless

We were parked haphazardly in a gravel driveway. 

If I rolled down the windows and listened hard enough I could hear the faint notes coming from Mrs. Duncan's piano studio. My oldest son was playing.

The Nissan quest transformed into a rocket. StinkBug pushing buttons, adjusting dials and barking out orders. We were just about to land on the moon when my cell phone rang. 

Seeing the number and bracing myself.

It would not be good news.

They don't call at 5:30 on a Thursday night to talk.

Taking a deep breath and stepping out of my van. Trying to to say a casual hello despite a huge lump in my throat.

Cars whizzing by on the two lane highway behind me. StinkBug pounding on the window yelling for me to get back in the rocket. We hadn't landed yet. I wasn't wearing my space suit.

He tried to sound casual. To downplay the situation. That's what my parents do. It's what they have always done.

She'd had a cold for a few days and he finally convinced her to go to the walk in clinic. My mom is nothing if not stubborn.

It hadn't been easy to get her there. She couldn't breathe without her oxygen so he loaded up her tank.  I can picture Mom trying to give detailed instructions on how he should do it. 

Even though she couldn't breathe on her own she had to control something. 

Dad putting it down in the hallway just as he got to the garage door.  Probably once more before loading it into the back passenger seat of their blue Ford Escape. 

I'd helped load it when they were here in August. They'd driven more than fourteen hundred miles to our new home. He couldn't believe how effortless I made it look. I had joked that I'd been lifting weights and I was thirty years younger than he. Truth is, it was heavy but a seventy-two year old man shouldn't have to carry his wife's oxygen tank.

I didn't bother to ask why they didn't call an ambulance. They don't do that kind of thing. They wouldn't want to be a burden.

When my parents arrived at the clinic they were told to go directly to the ER. The hospital would be expecting them. 


Passin' the bottle with the fabulous folks at Yeah Write!

                                                                 

22 comments:

@dkotucker said...

Oh Robbie. Sending all my positive thoughts your way. Take care. (((HUGS)))

SouthMainMuse said...

Hope all is okay. I went through that not wanting to hear the phone ring all December with my Dad. Love mom, but bless her, she would never call my cell. I knew if the house phone rang after 8 p.m. it was not good. Will be thinking about your mom.

Stacie @ Snaps and Bits said...

Oh, I'm sorry Robbie. I'm sending you loads of good vibes and positive thoughts. I hope she'll be ok.

Marcy said...

I hope all is well.

Jennifer Hall said...

Ugh. Big (((HUGS))), Robbie.

Kiki said...

Sorry to hear this! :( Great descriptions, though, in spite of the hard situation.

Bee said...

I hope she's OK. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Azara said...

Scary times. Your description of how your parents wouldn't want to draw attention or ask for help reminded me of many people I've known. Hope your mom is doing better now.

kristin said...

I really like the direct description of their actions and some of the motivation. The ending is perfect, haunting. Sending good thoughts your way.

Lillian Connelly said...

Your parents sound just like my in-laws. I hope your mom is better!

Pippi said...

Oh I am so sorry. How is your Mom doing? How are you doing?

Sometimes, I bet you want to take off in a rocket, huh?

Robbie K said...

Thanks & much appreciated.

Robbie K said...

Don't you hate that feeling? Living in fear of the phone ringing? My mom is doing much better than you.

Robbie K said...

Thank you very much. She is home now & improving.

Robbie K said...

She was released from the hospital and I am told she is doing better. Thanks.

Robbie K said...

Thank you..hugs are always appreciated.

Robbie K said...

Thank you on both accounts. She is doing much better.

Robbie K said...

She is recovering at home now. Thanks for the positive vibes. : )

Robbie K said...

It was scary..and gets scarier each time it happens. She is doing better and is at home now.

Robbie K said...

Thank you for your kind words and good thoughts. She was released from hospital and improving.

Robbie K said...

She is home and doing better than you.

Robbie K said...

Yes I'd love to blast off in the rocket and away from reality.

She is doing much better and I am not such a mess now either...well anymore than I usually am.