And the Village Burned to the Ground
September 09, 2008
I talked to my mom yesterday. My dad is not doing well. He's unsteady, dizzy, forgetful. A heart monitor found an arrhythmia. Everything keeps getting worse instead of better. The doctors think his symptoms are the results of his fall this past June and not the reason for his fall. They don't actually have any real clue why he fell but the fact remains that he might very well fall again. My mom stands helplessly by, knowing that she can't leave him, even though she can't catch him, either.
My head spun off in a million directions -- a million questions for the doctors, potential solutions to their living situation that would grant them the luxury of being able to leave the house, lamenting the lack of family near them, rehashing the conversation Jason and I had over the weekend wondering whether we should confront the inevitable and move back to Pennsylvania because clearly no one else will -- even though I could really only stammer my sympathies and a suggestion that Peapod might be have cheaper delivery fees for groceries than Acme. Mostly I just tried to dismissively wave off the real reason my mom had called.
Of course he can't travel.
Of course you can't leave him.
I'm fine! I'll be fine. We'll figure something out. Totally fiiiiine.
And then today it really hit me. Like the snooze button kicked in, 12 hours later.
I'm having a baby and my mom won't be there. My dad won't be there. They won't be there at the hospital. They won't be there at my house, making the coffee or folding the laundry or picking Noah up from school or reminding me to shower.
I'm suddenly very scared. Very alone. Very heartbroken for all of us, and this loss of time and firsts that you never get back. I know they're heartbroken too -- I heard it in my mother's voice, how much this hurts her, and I'm still debating whether to publish this when I'm done because I'm afraid it will upset her -- and yet I just want to slam doors and stomp my feet and dramatically throw myself down on the furniture because I'm having a baby and my mom won't be there and I need her and it's not fair.